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131 Central Avenue Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-9199 800-862-9199

406 contents

Featured Stories 14 Casting for Recovery

Outdoor Women 18 Hilary Hutcheson

Outdoor 22 Nymphs of Summer

406 Love 28 Kendra and Coalton’s


WELLNESS & Family 68 Mindful Living 70 dear coach dru 72 preparing kids 74 Here comes summer! 76 Living in Step

Garden 78 happy gardening


80 Murder, mayhem and mystery 82 Flathead Valley music

36 Great Gift Ideas for Guests


Food & Flavor


42 ScottiBelli’s Ristorante


46 As American as Berry Pie

50 Cooking Classes with your Pantry at John’s Angels

54 A Recipe for

86 Roth IRA

People & Places 88 profiles

Mary Jo Naïve

Good Medicine


90 406 man

58 A Field of One’s Own

HEALTH 64 Save your skin

66 How can hormones help your

Bridget Michlig

Parker Kelly

92 community Swap Meet

94 happenings

League of Glacier Symphony and Chorale Livingston Taylor Soiree in Bigfork

sex drive?


Publisher Cindy Gerrity

Business Manager Daley McDaniel

Creative Director/Layout&Design Sara Joy Pinnell

Editor Kristen Pulsifer

Photographer Rachel Catlett

Copy Editor/Writer Carole Pinnell

Design Intern April AnnMarie

Staff Photographer Daniel Seymour

On the Cover Candi is a native Montanan born and raised in Havre- Go Blue Ponies! She lives in Kalispell with her husband D.J. and their energetic 6 year old triplets. Candi has been a nurse at Kalispell Regional Medical Center for over 15 years. She enjoys an active life with her family in the Flathead Valley whether it’s on the water, hiking trails or the ski slopes.

Cover Image by: Shannon Hollman (

406 Woman

Published by Skirts Publishing CopyrightŠ2009 Skirts Publishing Published six times a year.

6477 Hwy 93 S Suite 138, Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-1545

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

Contributors Marti Kurth is a freelance publicist, writer and photographer who has had a longtime love affair with the arts. She teaches middle eastern belly dance and hand drumming and spent her early years acting in community theater. She has lived in the Flathead Valley since 2000 with her husband who is a graphic designer. Contact her at martik@centurylink. net

Shay Watkins is a

Shannon Hollman

Kiersten Alton, RPH,

is a natural light photographer who focuses on weddings, high school seniors and newborns. She has a passion for photography and is inspired by the beautiful surroundings of the flathead valley. Shannon lives in Kalispell, Montana with her husband, Jeremie, and her two wonderful boys. Anything that she can do with her family and with her camera in hand will put a smile on her face. Shannon feels so lucky to call Montana home and so blessed to be able to do what she loves and show people just how beautiful they are. To contact her, please visit her website at


WOMAN 12   

406 woman by way of the Big Island of Hawaii. After moving to Montana when she was 13, she graduated from Whitefish High School and got a degree in Business Management at the University of Montana. She spent several years selling Whitefish Mountain Resort as a group sales person, but is now proud to be a part of the Public Relations team at Outside Media in Columbia Falls. She is passionate about traveling and meeting new people and loves “Montana-y” activities like snowboarding, waterskiing and hiking.

is a pharmacist at Big Sky Specialty Compounding in Kalispell. She attended pharmacy school at the University of Texas in Austin where she learned about herbs, vitamins, homeopathics and how to make medicines from scratch (compounding). She helps patients reduce or eliminate medications and teaches classes on women’s hormones, environmental toxins, and nutritional and natural medicine for infants and toddlers. Recently Kiersten started an autism support group. For more information, e-mail

Denise Dryden is a

Lee Anne Byrne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker offering counseling in private practice in Whitefish, Montana. She blends holistic and conventional approaches in her work with adults, adolescents and couples, drawing on her extensive and diverse experience. Lee Anne also offers classes in mindful approaches to our moods. She can be reached at 406-862-1440.

Tanya Gersh

For the past 14 years, Tanya Gersh of Tanya Gersh Event Design, LLC has specialized in distinguished weddings with a mountain-chic flair in the serene and romantic (yet somehow cosmopolitan) settings of the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park. She plans red-carpet quality destination wedding experiences, which are designed with earnest attention to reflect each unique personality she encounters. A sincere love for planning beautiful parties brings her pride in seamless execution of memorable events.

earned her degree in communications and journalism from the University of NevadaReno. She has lived in the Flathead Valley for over two decades and wouldn’t trade it for the world. With an extensive tourism background in hotel and resort management and most recently as marketing director for the Flathead Beacon, she enjoys working with the business contacts she's gained over the years. So much so, that she and her husband have started their own company, Ham It Up Strategies, to work with associations such as NMWEPI and Friends of the Flathead County Library along with concert promotions planned in the future. In her free time, Kristen likes to hang out with her husband, Bob, and two great kids, Sam and Sarah.

Nancy Kimball

Miriam Singer

Dru Rafkin Jackman

Karin Holder is a

Certified Parent Coach with over 30 years of experience in the fields of education, parent support, and therapeutic placement for adolescents and young adults. Her passion is working with people who are ready to make some changes in their life! After raising three kids she is happily maturing into mid life and enjoys living a balanced life in Whitefish. To contact her, please visit her website at www.

traded pipe dreams of being a research biologist for a solid career in print journalism, clutching tightly her degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University. Now she has a new lease on life at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. After a long run in the news business at papers across Iowa and Montana – Kalispell, Columbia Falls and Whitefish – she now is a marketing communications assistant working to get out the word on health care. When she can extract herself from flower beds and the vegetable garden, she just might be found on a mountain, two-wheeling down a back road, skinnyskiing through the woods, paddling on the water or reading a good book. She’s been in Columbia Falls 20 years and plans on another 20.

writes to express her soul. The way words flow and find meaning makes her happy. Like writing, cooking can also be a meditation. And both activities result in being fed. Miriam started writing many years ago as a way of capturing her life’s journey. She learned to cook from her very talented mother and from her own love of creative experimentation while playing with food. She grew up in New York City and went to Brooklyn College. Her journey took her across the country and to homes in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Flathead Valley of Montana. Miriam Singer lives in Whitefish, Montana with her partner in life John Simpson who manages Don “K” Subaru. Together they promote music as Singer & Simpson Productions. Miriam sings for the same reason she writes. By the way, Miriam drives a Subaru.

is a Certified Personal and Professional Development Coach who started Sane Solutions by Dru in 1998. In her former life, Dru was a script supervisor who worked in the “glamorous” world of television. And although she loved the camaraderie, teamwork and 80-hour weeks, she took a dare from friends and decided to follow her passion of supporting others. She lives in Whitefish with her husband. To contact her, please visit

Kristen Hamilton

limited Partner and Financial Advisor with Edward Jones Investments. Karin along with Daved, Her husband of 19 years, and her two boys, Warren age 15 and Easton age 10, live in the surrounding Whitefish area. Originally from Virginia, Karin and Daved made Montana their home in 1996 after realizing that they needed to be in and near the great outdoors. City life was not for them! Karin is a fully licensed Financial Advisor who is not only didicated to helping her clients in the local area but across the nation as well. Being a mom, wife and a career woman has given her the insight to help women of all walks and ages to plan for their individual and business financial goals. Karin can be reached by phone (406)862-5454 or at her convenient location 807 Spakane Ave, suite 500, Whitefish, MT.


Casting for Recovery

Rachel VandeVoort is a Montana native with a huge fly-fishing addiction and an even bigger heart. With this combination, it’s no surprise she helped bring Casting for Recovery programs to Northwest Montana for the first time. The area’s first-ever Casting for Recovery program will be held at Glacier Outdoor Center in West Glacier this coming fall. Casting for Recovery (CfR) is a nonprofit organization that works to provide women affected by cancer a chance to escape to a natural setting and learn the sport of fly fishing. We asked Rachel for her account on why this is important to her, the sport, the area and Casting for Recovery’s participants. By: Rachel VandeVoort

Statistics? No, few people need a statistic to tell the story of how breast cancer impacts our lives and the lives of those we love. Who do you know? Who do you love? Maybe it’s a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend or a combination. For me, personally, the connection includes a great-grandmother, grandmother, another grandmother and friend. Yep, breast cancer is a part of all our lives. We don’t like it, but it is a fact. Our wives, sisters and friends live with it, live through it and live after it. The important word is LIVE. There can be a lot of life to live despite breast cancer. And as survivors ask themselves, now what, Casting for Recovery answers LET’S GO FLY FISHING! If you’ve ever been fly fishing you already know what it does for your soul, mind and body. You know how your heart rate quickened just reading the words fly fishing. The thought of planning your next fishing trip is like a shot of adrenaline. The smell of your gear as you

ready it for the next fishy foray triggers a meditative state. These are great symptoms for sure. Fly fishing is our day at the spa. Our facial is a wind-burned face, our full body scrub is tromping through the brush to the next fishing hole and our massage is the river running past our legs. Yes, clearly I have had the fly fishing fever for quite some time. Any woman who considers a new pair of wading boots a stellar shoe purchase is deeply affected. Casting for Recovery--Glacier Country, is the regional program that believes there are many women in Montana and neighboring states who need and deserve an indulgent, feel-good time.

In 1996, Casting for Recovery (CfR) was created by a professional fly fisher and reconstructive surgeon who made the connection between the motion of casting a fly rod and its physically therapeutic affects for the rehabilitation of mastectomies. The program grew into a multi-dimensional regional retreat experience that combines fly fishing, professional counseling and medical expertise to help in breast cancer recovery. The regional headquarters for CfR is in Manchester, Vermont. The regional programs, including our local CfR- Glacier Country, raises money that stays local to facilitate two and a half day retreats for breast cancer survivors in that program's region. The retreat volunteers combine their individual strengths and talents with formal training from CfR headquarters’ staff to provide respite, connectivity and information to survivors; not to mention a leg up on those fish! The CfR retreats extend beyond the initial retreat to provide a network of support and close fishing partners that strengthen life after breast cancer and the solve the never ending puzzle of matching the hatch together. Any woman who has or had breast cancer is welcome to apply to participate in a CfR retreat. Participants are chosen by a lottery system-- there is far more demand than space at the retreats. Each retreat is held for a maximum of 14 participants. The first day and a half is spent with all female staff and volunteers leaning fly fishing basics and how to extrapolate these skills, coping techniques, and healing strategies to everyday life. The final day is spent on the water fishing! Each participant is paired with one onwater fishing volunteer. These volunteers are men and women and offer undivided fishing attention.


WOMAN 14   

Rachel VandeVoort

Casting for Recovery has reached every region of the United States with 44 retreats in 30 states and 36 programs coordinated by more than 1,500 volunteers in 2010. CfR crosses international boundaries to include programs in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland. More than 4,000 women have participated in CfR retreats.

After a long and competitive bid process to establish a CfR program in our region CfR—Glacier Country is holding its first retreat this September at Glacier Outdoor Center in West Glacier. Participants will stay in cosy cabins, eat gourmet meals and have full access to the



Casting for Recovery provides an amazing opportunity to make a difference for breast cancer survivors. If you would like to make a donation or get involved with Casting for Recovery— Glacier Country, visit and click on the appropriate tabs to volunteer, donate, apply to attend a retreat, or refer a friend to participate.

center’s four stocked trout ponds. For 2011, this will be CFR—Glacier Country’s sole retreat with the goal to continually raise enough money to host two retreats annually.

The Glacier Country program held its first fundraiser, the Fly Fishing Film Tour (www. this past May in Whitefish at the O’Shaughnessy Center and plans to make this one of its yearly signature fundraising events. Numerous local businesses and individuals donated to the silent auction and purchased show tickets making this year’s event a success. Now, back to statistics. Here are some

welcome figures about breast cancer and fly fishing. Surveys taken by CfR say:

·90% of women attending feel better able to cope with their disease and are aware and accepting of themselves

·100% would recommend this program to ·92% learned something new about living with breast cancer

·95% felt connected with other participants

·92% intend to continue participating in the sport of fly fishing

Fly fishing becomes something different for every person. CfR is happy to open the door to

Photo by Kim Singer


a sport that can create a lifestyle that presents opportunities for living a happy life focus-

ing on wellness, not illness. The exception, of course, is that special bug called fish fever.


Open year-Round

Essex, Montana


outdoor woman} Hilary Hutcheson

Trout TV host not out to be one of the guys Written by Rich Landers, The Spokesman-Review

Hilary Hutcheson brings a fresh face with no baggage to regional outdoor TV programming.

“I don’t even watch a lot of fishing shows because I’d rather be out doing things,” said the co-host for a new regional fly-fishing show called Trout TV.

“This is absolutely my dream job away from my other job. I really love to fish, and I love rivers and meeting other people who know their stuff. Most of all, I love learning from them.”


WOMAN 18   

North Fork of the Flathead, MT

Trout TV hosts Rich Birdsell and Hilary Hutcheson

At 33, Hutcheson’s résumé includes whitewater rafting guide for Glacier Raft Company, a job she started as a high schooler growing up in Columbia Falls, Mont. She advanced to fly-fishing guide.

Hutcheson said she makes a point of avoiding top-of-the-line equipment. “We use affordable rods and gear that gets the job done,” she said. “I’ve been fishing all my life and I’m still a hack and I always will be. I go into every trip excited to learn something new.”

“Hilary is exceptional,” said Bob Asbury, Trout TV producer who lives in Liberty Lake. “She’s an excellent fly fisher and she also can deliver lines on camera. That’s a rare find.”

While she has fished from the wilderness waters of the Flathead’s South Fork to the Patagonia region of Argentina, she said her role on Trout TV already has opened her eyes to the fishing within a day or two from home.

After getting a broadcast degree at the University of Montana, she worked eight years as a television reporter and anchor in Missoula and Portland before returning to Columbia Falls to start a public relations company called Outside Media.

“I don’t think of myself as being young or being a woman in this role,” Hutcheson said. “I focus on the passion and fun of fly fishing and getting out on the river.”

In one episode, Hutcheson fishes for cutthroat trout on the Elk River with British Columbia guide Becky Clark. “This wasn’t about two women in a boat,” she said. “It was two people who were having a blast fishing and forgetting everything else while they’re on the river. I’m sure things will have to be edited out of that one.” "While fly fishing is a male-driven industry," Hutcheson said, she doesn’t set out to prove she can do everything men can do.

“Getting more women into fishing is more about getting them out and letting them fall in love with being on the water,” she said. “The next thing they know, they’re good at it.”

The term “hack" is an exaggeration, but it helps her make a point. “A lot of people are intimidated to go into a fly shop and ask the right questions,” she said. “That’s not a good bridge into the sport.”

“I’ve had multiple 100-fish days on mountain trout, but our trip to the North Platte in Wyoming blew me away with big, big rainbows. I probably caught 25 fish in a half a day on a Red Rock Worm and all of the trout were 20-25 inches. “The fishing was so good, we split it up and made two episodes,” Asbury confirmed.

“I fish with an aught-weight rod in alpine streams, but the guide on the North Platte wouldn’t let us fish out of his boat with anything lighter than a six-weight. It was sensational.”

Contact Rich Landers at (509) 459-5508 or email Trout TV is a syndicated show airing weekly on more than 50 stations throughout the West. In Montana, it airs on Sunday afternoons at 4:30pm on CBS.


T h e Va l l e y ’s N e w e s t Ev e n t F a c i l i t y

S pe c t a cula r priva t e re s ide nce ove rloo k ing B igf ork B a y & F la t he a d La k e

call for more information or to schedule a tour

(406) 837-1447 455 Grand Avenue, Bigfork

In The Heart of Downtown Bigfork E VE NT S · WE DDI NG S · FA M I LY R E U N I ON S CORPORAT E RE T R E ATS · BA N QU E TS


outdoor} fly fishing

Knotty Girl

Nymphs of Summer By Shay Watkins

Many 406 women love to fish. And as women, we love the association between our gender and the hottest fly fishing flies on the river.


n Greek mythology, a nymph is a beautiful, young female nature deity who lives in rivers and loves to dance. In fly fishing terms, a nymph is an aquatic insect still in its underwater stage. Since the majority of a fish’s diet is subsurface aquatic insects, nymphs are goddesses to fish, and to fishermen. So, a beautifully-tied artificial nymph fly is extremely sexy to fisher folk.

From Montana Fly Company’s Stirling Tyler:

We got the lowdown on fly fishing nymphs from one of our favorite fishing guru buddies at Columbia Falls-based Montana Fly Company. MFC’s Stirling Tyler’s answers were so fabulous that we had to share.

The Black Friday Shopping Nymph, aka: Trina’s Montana Prince -Christmas

In Montana, some of these sirens of the river are more effective than others. But why do fish fall head over tail for nymphs?

On our nymph investigation with Stirling we asked him which flies kick butt, where he takes them fishing and, since they are breathtaking nymphs, what makes them so sexy.

Trina’s Montana Prince-Christmas


WOMAN 22   

The Voluptuous Kal-town Nymph, aka: Knotty Girl

“I would take the Knotty Girl to the Thompson River west of Kalispell. This river is loaded with big, natural stonefly nymphs, so the Knotty Girl is effective at imitating Golden, Salmon, and Skwalla nymphs. These flies are effective year-round on the Thompson River, and her knotted legs are the key to making her so deadly.” Looking for love on the North Fork of the Flathead River? “Many nymphs dropped off of a big dry are going to get the job done, but nothing will satisfy more than the Trina’s Montana Prince Christmas. The red and green on the body of this fly drives the fish crazy and, more importantly, she will remind you to stock up on fishing supplies for Christmas!”

Wiese’s Hula Princess Burman’s Cradle Robber

The Flyin’ Hawaiian Middle Fork Nymph, aka: Wiese’s Hula Princess

“One of my favorites for the Middle Fork of the Flathead River is the Wiese’s Hula Princess. Besides the cute name, the peacock and brown collar (hula skirt) on this nymph make her especially effective. This fly dropped behind a Twisted Sister fly is a deadly female combo.”

Bob’s Southern Long-legged Nymph, aka: HNIC (Head Nymph in Charge) Look at the gams on that gal! “On the South Fork of the Flathead River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness take the HNIC or Head Nymph In Charge. This fly has big, sexy legs that dangle in the current and a curvaceous body that entices. She’s best as a duo, too. This fly trailed off of a streamer like Wiese’s Love Bunny is particularly deadly.”

The Demi Moore Cougar Nymph, aka: Burman’s Cradle Robber

Calling all Cougars. “Finally, I want to talk about the perfect nymph for the Swan River. Burman’s Cradle Robber- Alevin, which we’ll call Demi Moore, after our favorite cradle robbing lady. If you throw this fly in the Swan any time after July, she will have young and old fighting over her all day. Picture an Ashton Kutcher/Bruce Willis brawl. The egg yolk head on this nymph with the swimming action of the tail imitates a fish in the fry stage. Any self-respecting large-sized trout is going to pounce on her with reckless abandon.” Being a perfect gentleman, Stirling didn’t want to leave his other favorite nymphs out, saying, “Don’t forget these Flathead Valley damsels: Dunnigan’s Panty Dropper, Ritt’s Slimfast Damsel, Hill’s Nymphomaniac, and Davie’s Black Widow Weevil.” Sounds to me like it’s time for a ladies’ night on the river!

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Nymph noun \ˈnim(p)f\

1 : any of the minor divinities of nature in classical mythol-

ogy represented as beautiful maidens dwelling in the mountains, forests, trees, and waters

HNIC (Head Nymph in Charge)

2 : girl 3 : any of various immature insects; especially : a larva of

an insect (as a grasshopper, true bug, or mayfly) with incomplete metamorphosis that differs from the imago especially in size and in its incompletely developed wings and genitalia


406 love}Wedding

Kendra and Coalton’s

Written By Tanya Gersh - Photographed by Shannon and Jeremie Hollman with Shannon Hollman photography


WOMAN 28   


On the day of a wedding


get the same rush of adrenalin a ski racer may experience moments before a race. I feel exhilarated and thrilled as many months of careful planning all come down to one moment…one exquisitely special day. Planning is my art. Instead of painting, I plan. Instead being sold at a gallery, my art “takes place” and becomes a memory that is burned deeply into the minds of two people forever…the bride and groom. Every moment. Every flavor. Every feeling. Every detail matters. I am a wedding planner.


406 love}Wedding

For the past 14 years I have specialized in distinguished weddings with a mountain-chic flair, in the serene and romantic (yet somehow cosmopolitan) setting of the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park. I plan red-carpet quality destination weddings, which are designed with the earnest intention to reflect each unique personality I encounter.

Kendra and Coalton’s wedding, on April 3, 2011, was no exception. Their wedding, at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake, was a Midsummer Night’s Dream fairy tale. The sun set over Whitefish Lake, as the 26 guests entered a cozy tent, flourished with hundreds of candles, rustic lanterns, trees, branches and flowers. A classical quartet played as guests took their seats on hand carved rustic wooden benches. Because of the crisp early spring air, a fur blanket and hot chocolate in large ceramic mugs awaited each of them. Vows were exchanged in an intimate and divinely romantic setting with very few dry eyes watching.

After the ceremony, Kendra changed from her medieval ivory ball gown into a silky white silhouette dress fit for a princess. The wedding dinner was nothing short of a royal feast. With flowers, trees and extensive professional lighting, a small Lodge ballroom was transformed into a magical enchanted forest. The lighting continuously changed from green trees, to pink flowers, to blue flowers, and back to green trees. One large royal dining table

was adorned with crystal embellished linens and large floral trees. Tucked whimsically into the trees hung tiny owls, birds and feathers. Before taking their seats, guests hung wishes for Kendra and Coalton on the wishing tree, which filled a whole corner of the ballroom.

The evening began with a big surprise as two waiters (which were really performers from Alpine Theatre Company) sang “Be Our Guest”. Guests cheered, toasted, and wiped tears of sentiment from their eyes. During the nine-course dinner, the entertainment continued as the “Love Medley” from “Moulin Rouge” was performed. At the end of the evening, one last performance took place as Kendra & Coalton danced for the first time as husband and wife. Guests were then ushered outside and presented with silver bells. A path of lanterns and flowers led to a horse and carriage. It was a perfect end to a night celebrating a perfect union.

A sincere love for my work as a wedding planner brings me pride in seamless execution. Dreams do come true, and it takes my breath away every time I help make a dream come to fruition. I am truly honored to be a part of so many beautiful unions.

Tanya Gersh

From the Bride:

The decision to get married for us was the easiest one we ever made. We were lucky enough to find true love young. A wedding was the obvious way to celebrate our forever love with each other. After a long courtship (six years) it was decided that the Lodge at Whitefish Lake was the perfect place to get married. We wanted a spectacular wedding, so we elected for a small guest list to ensure a luxurious and epic event for each of our guest. Tanya Gersh our event planner was the key to this. She did an excellent job at coordinating and executing the whole night, from ceremony to carriage ride, everything was perfect! She fulfilled every ridiculous request we threw at

her. With the exception of a fire juggler, but she came close by enlisting the help of Luke and Betsy of Alpine Theater Company, who did an amazing job of providing entertainment through out the night. Cara from Mums Flowers brought everything together with her beautiful arrangements and our magical wishing tree. We are so happy and thrilled with our final result. With the help of all these people our wedding was everything we could have hoped for and more.

Mrs. Kendra Schaeffer


Planning & Design: Tanya Gersh Event Design - Photos: Shannon Hollman photography - Cake: Eat Your Art - Floral: Mum's Flowers - Rentals: The Party Store & Celebrate Party Rentals - -Video: Ric Ellingson - Carriage: Hanson's Carriage - Invitations, Place Cards & other print decor: Jennifer Golan - Hair: Christina Stevens, Camas Salon - Makeup: Emily Meyers - Music: DJ J-sterJazz - Quartet: Jeff Iams String Quartet - Entertainment: Alpine Theatre Company - Catering - Location: Lodge at Whitefish Lake - Wedding Dresses: JScott Catour - Lighting: Aura Dynamics, Jerry Beumer

WOMAN 30   



It’s Better to Give Than Receive Great Gift Ideas for Guests By Kristen Hamilton, Ham It Up Strategies As you prepare for your special event or wedding day this season, I encourage you to think about the mementoes you would like to give to your guests to remember the day. Most everyone that attends your event has invested both time and financial resources to be there. A thank you gift can be big or small, but, most importantly, it shows your family and friends how much you appreciate them. It’s quite simple to customize items, but it does require a little advanced planning to be sure you’ll have the gift in time. You will need to think about the time of year, location of your event, and guests in order to come up with the perfect gift ideas that will be treasured.

Group Gifts There are always a variety of gifts, that you can buy in bulk, that will ensure everyone receives something. Depending on your budget, it can be something small like a piece of chocolate or something large like a customized stadium chair. There are options for everything in between as well.

For either a spring day where rain is possible or a hot day to protect from the summer sun, a unique gift might be an umbrella. Everyone will surely appreciate the thought and most likely keep it for years to come. Not to mention what a wonderful group photo opportunity!

To many in the area, when you think of Montana, you think of huckleberries. Since these delicious berries aren’t available in very many areas, a great token would be a custom printed jar of huckleberry jam for your guests to take home. If you are having a more casual event by the lake, custom koozies are always a hit. Both adults and kids will feel special, and the ones I have personally received, I have kept and used for years.

I spoke with Joe at Carbonari Associates, Inc., and he said that he loves to work with groups to pick out the perfect gift, within budget, for special events. For custom jobs, he suggests ordering at least 4 weeks prior to your event to be sure you have the items in time.

Kids Gifts Of course there is a huge variety of options for kids depending on budget and ages of the kids in a group. Craft projects, coloring books and crayons, jacks, or Frisbees are all easy to get and can keep the kids busy.

In the instance of a family reunion, a really fun idea is something that can create a game for the kids. Giving some chalk and a foursquare ball can entertain for hours. Plus, kids with those creative imaginations will even come up with another game or two, after they get bored with foursquare, such as creating designs with the chalk on sidewalks or a game of kickball. These are great options because they can wear the kids out too. To quiet the kids down at night, decks of cards can be customized with their names and the game options are limitless. The main recommendation I would make is getting the same game or toy for everyone within an age group, to avoid conflict. Bridesmaid Gifts Wedding days are usually preceded by a bridesmaid luncheon, in order to catch up on old times and thank friends for being part of your special event. Gift giving is pretty traditional at these luncheons and most often it is something that the bride has thought about a lot.

Some popular items include a special necklace with matching earrings, a scarf, PartyLite candles, or a spa basket complete with massage certificate. I recently received a Miche Bag as a gift, and I realized that a mini bundle package from Miche would make a great bridesmaid gift. The concept for this purse is brilliant. You start with a base bag, and then you have a variety of shells that can change as often as your mood or your outfit, without having to clear

out the contents each time. I loved it so much, that I became a Miche Bag rep! The initial shell can be one that matches the theme and style of your wedding and the dresses. Then, you can pick additional shells that match your bridesmaid’s personality! She will remember your thoughtfulness, and the special day for a long time to come. For about $45, you can get a base and 2 shells, and the selection is great. It will be, by far, the favorite gift of the year.

Miche Bags are most often available through home parties but any of the official representatives in the valley are happy to personally show you inventory available and special order items for your gift giving. A minimum of 2 weeks prior is recommended to be sure you have in time. Groomsmen Gifts Many grooms’ gatherings include a golf outing, which is perfect as there are a number of great gift ideas associated to golfing including balls, towels, tees and mini coolers. Additional popular items for groomsmen include flasks, money clips, and a Swiss Army knife. Since most guys love sports, an idea outside of the box would be a custom printed team jersey. You can pick your favorite color and have a fun group name printed on the front and individually customize the backs with your groomsman’s names.

According to Dewey, at Universal Athletic Services, there are a variety of colors and styles to choose from. He has customized shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys and other items for all types of groups. It is best to contact him at least 4 weeks in advance of your event. Regardless of what you decide to get, giving gifts to your special guests is a great way to show them how much you care.

Resources for group gift giving: Custom Umbrellas/Koozies : Carbonari Associates (Joe) 406-250-9866 Huckleberry Jams: Eva Gates 406-837-4356 Miche Bags: (Jessica) at 406-261-9195 or online at Custom Jerseys - Universal Athletic Services (Dewey): 406-752-7400 Additional resources for planning events: Northwest Montana Wedding & Event Professionals, Kalispell Chamber, Whitefish Chamber, Bigfork Chamber, Columbia Falls Chamber,


WOMAN 36   


Buon Appetito!

ScottiBelli’s Ristorante Italiano By Kristen Hamilton - Photos by Daniel Seymour

Memories of an incredible date night in New York City came to mind when I entered ScottiBelli’s recently. My husband and I had just seen “Rent” on Broadway and as we left the theatre, we were caught in the middle of a rain shower. Trying to escape the rain and the traffic, we snuck into a little Italian bistro for a late dinner, and it turned out to be the best Linguine Carbonara I’ve ever eaten. …until now. scottiBelli’s opened in

downtown Kalispell this March and has become one of the most popular restaurants in town. Checkerboard tablecloths adorn every table and family photos cover the walls giving you the feeling of a true Italian eatery. I instantly noticed the delicious aroma coming from the kitchen. With over 40 years experience in the restaurant business, Renato and Angela ScottiBelli decided to leave southern California five years ago and retire in the Flathead Valley. Their three other family-run restaurants in Walnut, Whittier, and San Marino, California would continue to operate, but it was time for them to relax. But they missed good Italian food and many of their friends in the Flathead encouraged them to open a Montana restaurant. They were all too happy to oblige.


They started to look at locations in the valley then met with friends, Janet and Butch Clark, who owned the Kalispell Bar. The Clark’s were considering leasing the restaurant and the timing was great for all involved. The Kalispell

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Bar was already established and had a valuable liquor license in place. The location was right downtown and dining choices in Kalispell were scarce so everything fell into place quickly. They leased space and the switch from Kalispell Bar to ScottiBelli’s took less than a month.

Renato and Angela are very involved in the restaurant but son, Brian, and daughter, Gabriella, are primarily responsible for the dayto-day operation. Brian is the head chef and formally trained at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio Bar & Grill in Las Vegas. He has mastered the family recipes with classic Italian dishes, but his creativity has brought some delicious new dishes to the menu or with nightly specials. The locals rave about the Vongole Marinate and after trying it, I know why. The presentation alone is a marvel – imagine a perfectly baked pie shell sprinkled with Parmesan cheese delivered to your table. Then you break into this shell and are treated to succulent steamed clams in garlic, lemons and wine. The broth is so mouth-watering that it makes a perfect dip-

ping sauce for the baked pie shell. His nightly special for our visit was Salmon Limone, which is grilled salmon with capers and, of course, garlic – need I say more! The local’s favorite traditional dish on the menu is Mama’s Lasagna, which

Her experience shines here with a top-notch crew that really enjoys what they are doing. Right before opening on this busy Friday night, the crew was preparing for the crowds but took the time to greet each other, share a laugh, and have some fun. Grabriel-

When possible, they use local food vendors to supply the kitchen. Brian commented that he is looking forward to this summer to work with more local vendors especially with fruits and vegetables in the area. is Renato’s mother’s recipe straight from her kitchen in Naples, Italy. I asked the family members about their favorite dishes on the menu. Mom, Angela, loves the Linguine Carbonara and the Pollo Limone. Brian’s favorite is the Spaghetti Bolognese. Gabriella’s is the Linguine Pescatore dish. The full menu offers a great variety of Italian dishes including salads, pastas, and pizzas. The portions are large and the prices are very reasonable making ScottiBelli’s a great dining option in Kalispell.

Brian loves being in the valley. He enjoys the outdoors and gets away to hike and camp whenever he can. His favorite thing about the Flathead is the people. “The people are so much nicer here than other areas”, he says. While Brian runs the kitchen, his sister, Gabriella manages the serving staff in the restaurant.

la said, “The key to their success is treating staff and customers like family.” The approach certainly isn’t new but so many places just don’t get it. The ScottiBelli family does and it’s apparent when you look around and see the smiling faces.

When possible, they use local food vendors to supply the kitchen. Brian commented that he is looking forward to this summer to work with more local vendors especially with fruits and vegetables in the area. Imagine the fabulous dishes he can create with our delicious huckleberries and cherries!

The ScottiBelli family is excited about the future and plans to continue to grow their new Kalispell business. When asked beyond that, Brian replied, “Hopefully we’ll open another location in the next two to three years.”  43


Brian’s Bolognese “Meat Sauce” iNGREDIENTS

3 tbsp olive oil 1 ½ c chopped yellow onions ¾ c diced carrots ½ c diced celery ¾ c dry red wine 1 ½ lbs 80/20 ground beef 2 (14 ½ oz) cans crushed tomatoes and juices 1 (14 ½ oz) heavy crushed tomatoes 1 c water 4 tbsp chopped basil Add salt & pepper to liking ½ c Parmesan cheese 1 ½ lbs spaghetti


In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until golden brown, stirring often. Add the ¾ c red wine and reduce. Once wine is reduced, add ground beef and cook until browned. Add the tomatoes and water and stir occasionally, over medium heat. Once the sauce comes to a boil, add basil, Parmesan, salt and pepper, cook for 30 minutes then turn off. Serve sauce over cooked (to your liking) spaghetti. Buon Appetito!

ScottiBelli’s Ristorante Italiano 110 Main St. Kalispell, MT 59901 406-890-7800 Hours: Lunch Tuesday-Friday 11am-2pm - Dinner Tuesday-Thursday & Sunday 5pm-9pm; Friday & Saturday 5pm-10pm

food} in the kitchen

As American as Berry Pie Text by Miriam Singer

Huckleberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries are colorful, delicious and filled with phytonutrients. But what are phytonutrients? Phyto comes from the Greek word meaning plant. Phytonutrients are organic compounds in plants believed to support human health. They are not vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats or fiber, though berries contain all of the above including soluble and insoluble fiber like pectin and plenty of vitamin C. 

The phytonutrients in berries are called polyphenols, which are divided into two categories, flavonoids and non-flavonoids. The flavonoid anthocyanin gives berries their color. The color acts as the fruit’s sunscreen. And for us, it’s an antioxidant. The non-flavonoid ellagic acid also acts as an antioxidant, and studies have reported some very promising findings.


Here’s what the American Cancer Society had to say about ellagic acid found in red raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries. If huckleberries were not mentioned, it is probably because they never made it to the lab. Research in cell cultures and laboratory animals has found that ellagic acid may slow the growth of some tumors caused by certain carcinogens... Ellagic acid seems to have some anticancer properties. It can act as an anti-oxidant, and has been found to

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cause cell death in cancer cells in the laboratory. In other laboratory studies, ellagic acid seems to reduce the effect of estrogen in promoting growth of breast cancer cells in tissue cultures... Though studies need to continue for any conclusive results to be determined in humans, I plan on munching berries while I wait.

Blueberries are native to North America. They are the fruits of a shrub in the heath family, which includes cranberry, azalea and rhododendron. Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are members of the rose family. Raspberries and blackberries have an ancient history. Red Raspberries were gathered in the first century B.C., by the people of Troy, an area we now know as part of Turkey. The English cultivated them throughout the middle ages and eventually brought seeds to the new world. George Washington grew berries at his Mount Vernon estate.


erries make me think of pie. Pie originated in the 2nd Century B.C, from the Roman idea of baking meat inside a paste of flour and oil. The pastry shell was usually too hard to eat and served as a baking dish, serving and storage vessel. For hundreds of years, it was the only baking container there was, so, everything was a pie. In 1620, when the Pilgrims first started arriving in America, they brought their favorite pie recipes with them, adapting them to the fruits and berries they found. In the 1700’s, pioneer women often served pie with every meal.   Do you ever wonder what the difference is between the various bottomless pies like a cobbler, crisp, pandowdy, buckle, Betty, crumble or grunt? Well, some say a cobbler got its name because rounded biscuit dough baked on top of the fruit filling resembled cobblestones. A crisp is a baked fruit dessert covered with a streusel-like topping often including oatmeal and nuts. A pandowdy is like a cobbler, but the biscuit topping is rolled or pressed into one piece and layered over the fruit.  In a buckle, the fruit is either added to cake batter or layered on top of it, and the whole thing is topped with crumbles. A crumble is similar to a crisp, but the topping is a flour, sugar and butter mixture sprinkled over the fruit filling. A grunt or slump isn’t baked.  It’s cooked on top of the stove like dumplings on stewed fruit. A Betty has buttered crumbs, like graham cracker crumbs and butter, placed under and over layers of fruit.  The whole dish is covered to bake, and uncovered to brown; hence, a brown Betty. I’ve always assumed that someone named Betty thought of it.


ere is a recipe for a Mixed Berry Cobbler which I’ve designed to work as either a dessert to be served warm under vanilla ice cream, or, because it’s not overly sweet, as a brunch item. It is possible to bake the topping separately, on a sheet, pan to serve as a scone with the warm whole berry filling on the side as a fresh jam. Either way, enjoy!

Mixed Berry Cobbler Serves 6 - 8 Fruit Filling Ingredients:    12 oz blueberries or huckleberries  6 oz raspberries  6 oz blackberries  1/4 cup sugar  2 Tablespoons cornstarch  2 Tablespoons lemon juice  1/2 teaspoon lemon zest  pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine berries, sugar, lemon juice, zest, salt and cornstarch. Stir gently to combine. Let rest a few minutes.  Cobbler Topping Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 Tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon orange zest 1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, cut in small chunks and chilled till very cold 1 egg  1/2 cup cold buttermilk, plus 1 Tablespoon to brush top  heaping Tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, to sprinkle top

In a large bowl thoroughly combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Cut butter into this mixture until the pieces of butter are coated with the flour and very small, like coarse sand. In a small bowl, mix together cold buttermilk, egg and / orange zest. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. Combine quickly until incorporated. Don’t overwork the dough.


Lightly butter a deep dish pie plate or 9 X 9 baking dish. Gently pour the berries into the baking dish. Cover the top with dollops of the dough, leaving space at the sides for the steam to escape and the dough to expand. Brush the top with buttermilk and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar.  Place baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for either 35 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and the top golden brown. Let cool on rack 15 minutes before serving.


Welcome to Blue Canyon! Enjoy Creative American Cooking Steaks & Seafood in a comfortably sophisticated mountain lodge setting at the Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern. Host a party or special event in our Private Dining Room. TAVERN MENU: Begins Daily at 4PM DINNER: Monday - Saturday: 5PM - 10PM Sunday: 4PM - 9PM


food}Cooking Class

Beginner Pantry

Cooking Classes with your Pantry at John’s Angels By Kristen Ledyard Owner/Executive Chef of John’s Angels Catering LLC

You have gone through many seasons using your exciting pantry items. Itemizing everything along the way and adding new products along with new ideas. Now it is time to get some practical use and really shine at your summer gatherings. The sun is starting to show and along with that comes outdoor cooking and fun parties with family and friends. Starting the last Sunday of every month, we will be having cooking classes at John’s Angels new state of the art facility. We will focus on all of the articles I have written thus far, including old and new pantry items, fresh local products and where to get them, and hands on techniques. Of, course we could not make things just about the cooking class. We have developed a whole three hour experience. Come join us as you begin with prepared appetizers developed in the articles. Now you can make sure your recipes taste the way you would like for your guests. Then, dive into a new appetizer such as my “Two Cheese Fondue with Kirsch” paired with wine and beer from Tamarack Brewing Company.

Two Cheese Fondue with Kirsch

Gruyere= shredded block, Manchego= shredded block White wine= no chardonnay, Kirsch, Flour Louisiana hot sauce, Truffle oil Salt and pepper Put your shredded cheese, in two batches, into a Ziploc bag with one tablespoon of flour and shake well to coat.

Photo by Alisia Cubberly

Bring one and a half to two cups of white wine to a boil and reduce to low. Slowly add handfuls of cheese and stir in a figure eight pattern until melted. Only add as much cheese as you would like to create your desired batch size consistency. Test it with a mushroom, and it should stay on the vegetable. If it does not, slowly add more cheese. Then add ½ to one tablespoon, depending on the heat level you wish, of Louisiana Hot Sauce. Add four dashes of Truffle oil from your pantry and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with mushrooms, carrots, celery, broccoli, pretzel sticks, sweet bread (white and dark), and cooked tenderloin tips or any other item great with cheese. This appetizer is fun with friends, and a great way to get to know people you have just met.

Hint: There are many ways of making a fondue, but to shake with flour guarantees no grittiness.


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After a tasty

and informative appetizer course, it is on to summer salads and the main entrée. All products are donated by local companies and featured by the school. Now you will get to not only know where to find these products, but to taste and use them. How about our beef tenderloin with port wine reduction?

Port Wine Reduction

Port wine= I prefer Noval and no tawnys Shallot= 1/3 tablsp, Garlic= ½ tsp Real butter= ¾ stick Salt and pepper This is such a simple yet showy sauce that is good with meat and fish or grilled chicken. Finely dice your shallot and garlic. Start a sauce pan over medium heat with a little extra virgin olive oil and add your shallot. Cook until just tender and add your garlic. Pour ½ or ¾ of the bottle into the pan and raise the heat to med high, and add salt and pepper to taste. Let reduce to almost a syrup form and add your butter one pat at a time. This is mounting your butter into your sauce which creates a silky flavor and shiny look.


Photos by Daniel Seymour

ny meal would not be complete without sides such as our many flavors of scalloped potatoes, and a brand new one for summer - jerk corn on the cob. Sorry, you will have to join the experience for this recipe. Finally, top the menu off with either our flaming orange and rum ice cream or many other summer delights developed by our pastry chef.

At the end of the session, sit down to a served dinner enjoying the day’s creations. Courses will be paired with Tamarack’s own beers and wines, developed by their knowledgeable staff. It is guaranteed to be a complete day of gourmet food, wine, fun, and knowledge. What could be better? We hope you will join us, and please be sure to look forward to more summer pantry hints.  51

food}cook book

A Recipe for Good Medicine By Maggie Neal Doherty - Photo by Sara Pinnell

Betsy Cox thinks of her Good Medicine


Lodge as her own dose of good medicine. Along with her husband, Woody, the two have owned and operated the bed and breakfast in Whitefish for ten years. “It is good medicine—literally the people who stay and work here are all good medicine in my life. It makes me happy and healthy,” says the warm innkeeper. The couple’s desire to own and operate the bed and breakfast has not only been a longtime dream but also a way to retire to a mountain town that boasted a wide range of outdoor activities (most importantly skiing) and a vibrant community. They found all of that and more when they discovered Whitefish over a decade ago. “Whitefish is the perfect community for us,” Betsy acknowledges. “There’s a strong and real community here.” The coupled visited many ski towns across the West, but Whitefish captured their hearts. Betsy believes she and her husband have been hosts-in-training for much of their lives. The Cox’s have lived on the East coast and in the Midwest, and their frequent moves encouraged friends and family members to visit. When they decided to semi-retire and open an inn, they also wanted to live in an area their children would visit. The Cox’s three grown children are all teachers and vacation at their parent’s home and lodge during their breaks from school. The Good Medicine Lodge boasts several awards and rave reviews, and the Cox’s are pleased that during the summer months, the entire place is booked. Cox says, “We can pretty much count on that.” With a convenient location to Whitefish and the ski hill, the Good Medicine Lodge also attracts visiting skiers throughout the winter. Like most businesses in the Flathead Valley, The Good Medicine Lodge is not immune to the dip in traffic during the shoulder season months in the spring and fall, but the slow-down allows the couple a little rest and relaxation. The Cox’s live on site, and one of Betsy’s favorite aspects of the job is no commute. “I love that I can jump into the shower and with

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wet hair walk over to the Lodge and start a pot of coffee.” While the two are on the property much of the day, they make themselves available to their guests at breakfast and each evening when Betsy and Woody host an appetizer party. During the day, after the guests leave to explore local surroundings, Betsy considers it her “retired” time. But, retirement seems to be an abstract concept for Betsy, for in April of this year, her cookbook, Good Montana Morning, was published. Although she claims she never intended to write a cookbook, she was encouraged by many of her guests and friends. Because of guests’ eager requests for recipes from the B & B breakfasts, Betsy continuously printed off copies of her specialties, like Montana Morning, a troutcake topped with a poached egg. In lieu of charging for her recipes, she asked guests to leave a donation to the North Valley Food Bank. One year ago, she decided to take on the cookbook project. She wanted not only a collection of recipes but a reflection of the local area. “It is a constant reminder for our guests of our place and their stay,” notes Betsy. While food is the focus of the book, the presentation of the food and the recipes represent the welcoming and inviting nature of the inn that the couple has carefully cultivated over the past ten years. Like the lodge itself, Good Montana Morning promotes the strong sense of place of Glacier country. Photographs, taken by the Lodge’s guests, of Glacier National Park earn their

spot amongst such decadent delights like Currant Scones and Going to the Sun Eggs. She partnered with local photographer Megan DiTizio to capture the natural richness of each dish. While Betsy’s professional background included careers in the airline industry and interior design, the woman in charge of the kitchen does not have any formal culinary education. “I’ve learned so much about poaching eggs from this B and B. It is really easy. And these recipes are all really easy to do. They’re fun.” The cookbook’s debut has been wellreceived amongst her visitors, and the collection is even traveling overseas with her international guests. “Guests from Great Britain, Australia, and France have all bought the book.” She’s not printing off as many recipes for her guests anymore, but the North Valley Food Bank is still benefitting. A portion of Good Montana Morning’s proceeds are donated to the local food bank. As the couple prepares for the busy summer season, Betsy knows firsthand the sense of welcome and hospitality The Good Medicine Lodge offers. Many years ago, she herself was a guest at the inn during her search in the Rockies for the perfect location for her very own B & B. The lodge’s previous owners had not put the Good Medicine Lodge on the market at the time of Betsy’s visit, but she realized Whitefish was the community that would fulfill her and her husband’s shared dream. For the Cox’s, The Good Medicine Lodge has become their best recipe.

Recipe from Good Montana Morning:

Rhubarb - Strawberry Upside Down Cake Base: 3 tablespoons butter 2/3 cup brown sugar ¼ cup sliced almonds 10 large strawberries, hulled and sliced 2 ½ cups rhubarb in ½ inch slices, blanched and drained Batter: ½ cup butter, softened ¾ cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 1½ cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup milk ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 inch round cake pan with sides at least 2 inches high.

For the base, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and cook until the sugar is melted. Spread over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with almonds. Arrange strawberry slices in a layer over almonds. Top with rhubarb.

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Separately, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with combined milk and vanilla, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until combined. Spread batter over fruit. Bake about 1 hour. If top of cake browns before it is baked through, cover loosely with foil. Remove cake from oven, let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to let the juices thicken. Loosen the edges, invert onto a plate. Replace any fruit that sticks to the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, plain or with whipped cream.

history}part one

A Field of One’s Own Excerpt from Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One’s Own, edited by Sarah Carter.

They came for money, for land, for family, and for a new life—the single, widowed, divorced, or deserted women who left homes in the East, South, Midwest, and even California to start anew on their own homesteads in Montana.

In Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One’s Own ($17.95, Farcountry Press, 2009), historian and author Sarah Carter introduces the voices and images of women who filed on 160- or 320-acre homestead plots in Montana. Many experienced cold, hunger, and desperate loneliness on the plains on their way to “proving up”—but these solo women homesteaders received patents to their land, demonstrating, as homesteader Nan Francis wrote, that “we women didn’t give up so easily.” Photographs, published accounts, family reminiscences, and diaries portray the hardships and joys of these women as they claim their land.

One of the most fascinating journals featured in the book is that of May Vontver, born in 1892 in Sweden. At age twelve, May immigrated to the United States with her brother. Her teachers noted her literary skills, and published her compositions in the school paper. In 1913, she had enough credits to begin her teaching career, and she moved to Montana, where she homesteaded and taught school. For Vontver, homesteading was not a happy or rewarding experience. But it furnished her with material for a moving account and a unique perspective that focuses on the destitution of the people and the land. Vontver died on January 10, 1990, in Seattle.


Above Photo: Mia “May” Anderson Vontver in Kila, Montana, in 1916, one year before she began to homestead. Vontver noted on the back of the picture that the horse was named Jim and the rifle was not hers.

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Featured here is Part 1 of an excerpt from her memoirs. Part 2 will appear in the August/September issue of 406 Woman. My Homestead Experience, from the Memoirs of May Vontver

My uncle had homesteaded in eastern Montana in Judith Basin near Denton and he had become wealthy growing wheat. Maybe if I took up a homestead I could eventually sell the place and help finance my higher education. So in 1916, I began to look around for free government land that I could prove up on. However, my venture never made me rich and turned out to be a mistake financially. I went to Lewistown to the land office there. I found out all the good land had been taken up, but there was a relinquishment available which I could have by paying a certain sum to the original owner, or filer. Then I filed on the land and went out to take a look at it. I could see why it was the only land left. The 320 acres were crossed by a very deep ravine, so deep that the tops of the tallest spruce trees growing in the bottom could not be seen. The ravine was perhaps no wider across than 30 feet, with very steep sides. To me it looked like there might be a possibility of finding water in the bottom because the vegetation was greener there than anywhere around. This would be a great incentive because if one could find water it would make the place valuable despite the barrenness on either side of the ravine. So at first I was not sorry I had gotten this piece of land and I did not have to take possession until New Years of 1917. My homestead was near Roy, Montana. At that time there was a little post office to the east of Roy called Little Crooked. And this is where I got my mail when I taught the Kiskis school. The government soon came to realize that it was impossible for the homesteaders to make a living on this homestead land, so the government allowed a dispensation. Homesteaders would not have to stay on the land. We could leave and make our living somewhere else. So all in all I spent only seven months, plus my summer vacations on my homestead. To fulfill the other requirement I had a small cabin built with a cellar underneath and I had forty acres of land broken up and planted in flax for linseed Before I went on my own homestead there was a four month homesteader’s school that had not, by August, been able to get a teacher. The poor pay and short term discouraged many applicants, but because I had to be on my homestead by the first of January it would fit in nicely with my plans. The pay was $60 per month, $20 of which had to go to my landlord. However, I took the job and I have always been glad that I did because there is where I found the Kiskis children and when they brought me the gift I thought at the time I must write this

episode down, but it incubated in my mind for eleven years before I finally got it written down. In a later section I will elaborate more fully on the writing of the Kiskis story, but first I will describe the type of people I came in contact with when I took the homesteaders school. These people were quite different from any I had encountered before and made a deep impression on me. The first thing that struck me in this community where I had taken up my homestead was that the people were so poor, and this poverty seemed to bring out a strange quirk in their nature so that they tried to scheme to get money from one another. For instance, one child lost a mitten which was found by another child and taken home, and the mitten would not be given up to the owner unless he paid the finder the cost of the mitten, a price that was figured out carefully to come to slightly less than its cost in the Montgomery Ward catalog. Such an action struck me as being downright dishonorable. Another action I had never heard of before was that one man would hide his neighbor’s horses and the owners would search and search, then eventually the first man would state: If you pay

me I will take you to the place where your horses are. I had never seen people who were so unneighborly and so unkind to each other. Those of the people who had cows and could make butter to sell in the town of Roy would also sell to their neighbors if they got a tiny bit more than they were paid in Roy. I boarded with the family who had the biggest house. These people had come from Indiana and I have never in my life had so little to eat. The man had come to get me at the railroad station in Roy, and on the way he told me the reason they had gotten permission from the school board to board the teacher was because they had the largest house and I would have a room to myself (which I thought was nice). As it turned out I did get along all right with them despite the fact that they fed me so poorly and were so stingy, but the worst thing that happened was when I finished my term and the man was driving me back to Roy, he said, I will not take your trunk unless you pay me a dollar and a half. Of course I had to pay him, but I half way expected him to stop on the way to Roy and say, I will dump your trunk off here unless you pay me another $1.50. Because that was the way these

people were to one another. The one exception was the Clark family. They knew how scanty the food was that was doled out at my boarding place and since I had to pass their home on the way to the school they often stopped me and asked me in to eat with them. The Clarks were the only family in the area who did not indulge in the dreadful treatment of their neighbors.

MY HOMESTEAD There was a stagecoach that came out to the post office from the railroad at Roy, and the stagecoach driver took me from the post office out to my place which was a distance of seven additional miles. He helped me to unload the stuff I had taken with me. I had a little cot, a small stove, and the carpenter had built a fold-up table. I had a couple of folding chairs and the carpenter had made some shelves, and he had made a hole in the ceiling and roof so I could put the stove pipe through. There were enough stunted pine trees growing nearby so I could have fuel. Among my tools I had an axe, hammer, saw, and tools for most any emergency. At this time there were homesteaders on every half section so there were neighbors all around me. How this changed before three years had passed! There were no requirements in the law as to the size of the building, as long as it was habitable, and as I was alone, my shack was only ten feet by ten feet. When spring came I had a cellar dug out under the house, almost as big as the house, just leaving enough foundation so it would not cave in. It was about seven feet deep and it made a very cool place for me to stay in greatest heat of the summer days. The entrance was with a ladder down from a trap door inside the house. When I moved in on January first I had no worry about summer heat, but instead had the freezing winter weather to contend with. Nevertheless, I had a feeling of home-coming, this my very first own home here in America. Although I was all alone and didn’t know any of my neighbors, it was pleasant to spread out my belongings and set up and make up my bed. The carpenter had left a big supply of wood so I did not immediately have to go out and chop down trees for fuel. I had brought such foods as would not freeze, because everything froze solid at night. I sometimes got up at three o’clock in the morning to build another fire in my little iron heater because as soon as the fire went out it became the same temperature inside as it was outside. My neighbors came and called on me and they were pleasant and I got along fine with them. It has never been difficult for me to like people if they were at all likeable. When spring came, I was not required to plow up the forty acres to plant this first year, so I started out by having just enough land broken for a big garden. I hired a man to do this.  59

history}Part one

As he did the breaking I worked it down and planted the vegetable seeds I had sent for. We had late snows and all the things I planted came up, but after the spring rains, it never did rain a drop again all summer. The plants all came up and grew four or five inches, then withered back onto the ground. All the neighbors experienced the same misfortune because that was the first year of the Drought in that locality—the beginning of the bad years. I only lost a large garden, but those that had had their forty acres or more put into flax or wheat or corn, lost all their crop. Most of them were family people, they had cows and horses with nothing to feed them. The dams they had built held nothing more than mud puddles which soon dried out. These families had to leave their homesteads in order to make a living, and only bachelors or school teachers like myself who had taken up land, but had other sources of income, could stay on, so the first summer I was not all alone in the area. After I had my cellar dug, I would go down there to escape the heat of the sun. When it wasn’t too bad outside, I would follow the shade of the cabin around, sitting and reading, crocheting and doing fancy work. In those days I had excellent eye sight. I was very fond of reading which passed the time pleasantly and I carried on a great deal of correspondence with friends and relatives. The mail was received twice a week at the post office and twice a week I walked the seven miles in to get it, fourteen miles round trip. The postmaster there was a gentleman by the name of Montgomery Marshall. He was a Zionist from the Chicago area and was the only person with any interest in culture in the whole vicinity. I had many interesting conversations with him and remember one of his quotations: The cultured person wishes to do things in the right manner and say things in the right way and the uncultured doesn’t give a damn. Mr. Marshall was also an enterprising man. He had gotten the people together to construct a communal dam which held water covering an acre or more, and after the drought struck, those people who stayed on could haul water from there on a stone boat or wagon. I had no horses so I had to pay a man to bring me two barrels of water every two weeks. Later on I will relate a rather harrowing experience I had when the man failed to bring me the water. THE CANYON ON MY HOMESTEAD The very first spring I was on the homestead I chose a little plot for a garden which was described earlier. I hired a man to plow up this quarter acre plot and he said to me, I have never found in so tiny a breaking as this so many arrowheads, when I was harrowing it. I thought this was quite interesting although I had never bothered to look for arrowheads, since they were so common before the 1920s. But I did ask him if he would give me a couple which he did. 406

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Between the steep, perpendicular cliff of the canyon and my cabin lay the plowed garden. One day when I was down in the canyon I came to the steepest side of the canyon which rose like a precipice. For some reason I poked around at the foot of the cliff and I found two or three arrowheads, not far beneath the surface, and I compared them with the ones Max had found on top, and they were exactly the same kinds. I decided to take them over to Montgomery Marshall at the post office, since he had quite a collection of arrowheads. I told him Max had found more in my patch than he usually found in forty acres and they matched the ones I found at the bottom of the cliff. Mr. Marshall felt the similarity was significant and when I queried him as to why there should be so many in those two places he suggested that there might have been a little buffalo jump there. This was all new to me. I had never even heard about buffalo jumps before. He explained to me how the Indians would drive a small portion of a herd of buffalo, very, very cautiously close to the brink, then suddenly they would wave blankets, hollaring and shooting arrows at them, scaring them over the edge of the cliff. Although it was but a small jump in comparison to other jumps in Montana, it apparently was effective and I accepted that explanation by Mr. Marshall. On the seven mile walk back to my cabin, I pictured for myself how these Indians had carried out their strategy and I could imagine it very clearly. Another phenomena of my little canyon is worthy of note. I had noticed damp spots in the bottom of the canyon. Some of the areas were greener than other places and it seemed to me that if there were to be any water found on my homestead, the floor of the canyon would be the most logical place to look for it. So one day I took my post hole augur, my shovel, a pail and a tin cup and went down into the canyon and walked until I came to what seemed to me a likely spot to dig. The black top soil came away easily. After that I struck clay and sand and the deeper I dug the wetter it got, which seemed very encouraging. I lost track of time and the damper it got the more excitedly I augured and dug. After I had excavated to the depth of about three feet, I scooped out an extra little hole and sat down and watched the beautiful, crystal clear water seep very slowly into this bowl-like depression. When sufficient water had gathered in the hole so that I could dip my tin cup in and partially fill it, I did it with high hopes, raised it to my mouth and took a swallow. But what a shocking taste and terrible disappointment! This liquid was just like a very strong solution of Epsom salts. This water was full of alkali and of no value whatsoever. SLOW ELK AND POVERTY One young neighbor used to bring his wife and two little girls over to visit me whenever he was going hunting. It was revealed to me only after

I had lived among these homesteaders many months, that what he called hunting, was simply going out and butchering some creature belonging to the big cattle ranchers whose herds grazed all over the vast prairies. These animals were branded and belonged to the cattle barons. The homesteaders didn’t know whose brand belonged to whom in every case, but would get together with the other homesteaders, go out and rustle an animal, butcher it and divide the meat and take it home. If it hadn’t been for these slow elk, none of them would have had any meat to eat. They were very careful not to tell me what their hunting actually consisted of, because I was a stranger and they suspected that I might think what they were doing was against the law. They felt they were justified in doing what they did because they were keeping their families from starving. Perhaps the first time the poverty of my neighbors struck me was when the young mother and the two little girls first called on me. I was busy making a patchwork quilt. It was not a crazy quilt but was made of square blocks from my dress remnants. Although I was not adept at dressmaking for myself, I still had my dresses made for me as one did not buy as many ready-made dresses as now. So I was working on these many pieces of material left over from the dress-making, the pieces being about eight inches square. I was nearly finished and there were two small squares left over. The young mother asked, May I have them? Why of course, I answered, but what use can you find for two little patches like that? They don’t even match, one is blue and one is green. Well, she said, they are big enough so that they would make two sleeves for a little dress. When I get hold of another piece of material I can use them for sleeves. I must have shown how flabbergasted I was. She said, You know with us, it isn’t a matter of how a garment looks, just to keep them covered is what we are worried about! I realized that although I had grown up in poverty in Sweden, it was not of the sort that was found in the drought striken areas where the homesteaders had taken up dry land farms. In Sweden they could have garden patches, pick wild berries in the woods, fish in the many lakes or ocean. It wasn’t the absolute destitution you found in this dry land farm area.

Sarah Carter is a professor and H. M. Tory Chair at the University of Alberta’s history and classics department and a member of the faculty of Native studies. The winner of the 2006 Joan Jensen–Darlis Miller Prize for the best article published about women in the Trans-Mississippi West, Carter became a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2007. Her book Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One’s Own won a Silver Medal in the 2010 WILLA Literary Awards.

Montana Sapphires The New Diamond

Chancey The Parrot

Hart Jewelers Wes Hart Goldsmith

711 Spokane Ave. Whitefish, Montana 59937 406-862-6252

health} skin

Save your skin – it’s the only one you’ve got By Nancy Kimball

First, the bad news: Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers.

Now, the good news: It seldom is fatal. And you can do a lot to limit your risk.


hat golden glow from a deep tan favored by fashionistas has become suspect with revelations of the damage ultraviolet radiation can do to your skin. The healthy image is exposed as mere illusion when brown lesions, red nodules, scaly patches and bleeding moles show up to spoil that perfectly polished look.

While exposure to the sun, tanning beds and sun lamps is the most common cause, skin cancer can develop on places that almost never see direct sun – the soles of your feet, for example.

There are three major types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Here’s how the Mayo Clinic describes them:


Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs in sun-exposed areas of your body, such as your face, ears or scalp. It may appear as a pearly or waxy bump, or a flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion.


Squamous cell carcinoma most often occurs on sunexposed areas of your body, such as your face, lips, ears and hands. It may appear as a firm, red nodule, or as a flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface.

Both of these often are superficial and have an excellent prognosis when diagnosed and treated promptly. The following type is less common, but is much more serious and has a poorer prognosis:


Malignant melanoma can develop anywhere on your body, in otherwise normal skin or in an existing mole that becomes cancerous. In men, it most often is on the trunk, head or neck. In women it’s usually on the lower legs. In anyone, it can develop on skin not exposed to the sun. People with darker skin tones should look for it on the palms or soles, or under the fingernails or toenails.


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Signs of melanoma:

- A large brownish spot with darker speckles

- A mole that changes in color, size or feel, or one that bleeds

- A small lesion with irregular border and portions that appear red, white, blue or blue-black

- Dark lesions on your palms, soles, fingertips or toes, or on mucous membranes lining your mouth, nose, vagina or anus

So, what to do?

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has a quick checklist:

○ Avoid sun exposure in peak hours, 10 a.m.4 p.m. ○ If you must be outdoors: - seek shade,

- wear a tightly woven, long-sleeved shirt and long pants, - wear a wide-brimmed hat,

- wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB radiation and - generously apply sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater; but remember, sunscreen supplements other measures – it doesn’t substitute for them. ○ Avoid deliberate tanning, either outdoors or in tanning beds.

○ Perform skin self-exams regularly, including areas not routinely exposed to the sun.

While exposure to the sun, tanning beds and sun lamps is the most common cause, skin cancer can develop on places that almost never see direct sun



There’s one more measure that’s non-negotiable.

“Catch it early,” Dr. Peter Wagner said. He is a hematology and oncology specialist who recently joined the staff of Northwest Oncology & Hematology in Kalispell. “Doing self exams is important. If you see anything suspicious, go to a dermatologist or your primary care doctor.” An early enough catch can mean nothing more bothersome than having a doctor freeze the patch of skin, slice away the affected area and send you home wearing a Band-Aid. But delays can be fatal with more aggressive carcinomas. You need to learn how to spot them. It can be hard to judge whether something on your skin could be cancer. Dr. Leah Carlburg, a family practitioner with Big Sky Family Medicine in Kalispell, offered an easy A-B-C-D mnemonic to help:

- Asymmetry one side is different, perhaps darker, ulcerated or bleeding - Borders the spot has irregular borders - Color the color is variegated or dark

- Diameter it’s larger around than a pencil eraser, about 6 mm

“The biggest thing I say is ‘change’ – something that is new and growing, scabbing or ulcerated, like a wound that won’t heal,” she added. “If you’re worried about it, let us know. Come and see us.”

Both Wagner and Carlburg stress early detection. If you’re not examining your own skin regularly, don’t miss your annual doctor appointments. If a skin cancer gets past the point of straightforward treatment and surgery is required, it can become fatal. That is the population Wagner usually sees. “When I see them, they frequently already have metastatic stage 4, and it’s incurable,” Wagner said of patients who are referred to his practice. “There is no proven treatment that works. There are treatments that can shrink the size of the tumor and it might extend the life span.” Don’t let it get to that point. Know the risk factors. Check your skin. See a doctor if you’re not sure. Let that glow on your skin come from health, not heat.



How can hormones help your sex drive? By Kiersten Alton, RPH. Big Sky Specialty Compounding

At some point in our lives almost all women will experience a loss of sexual desire. There are many reasons this may occur. The most basic cause of low sex drive is hormone imbalance, which comes in many forms. Progesterone, one of our sex hormones, is crucial to libido. During perimenopause, this hormones production is falling which can result in a low sex drive. Other issues related to our hormones can make intercourse uncomfortable such as vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal wall. This is usually related to decreasing estrogen levels. Estrogen replacement can correct this imbalance and restore health to these tissues. Vaginal Estriol works great for this problem. Men and Women also need healthy testosterone levels to have a good libido. Testosterone replacement can help restore a healthy sex drive. Topical testosterone replacement is a safe alternative to oral testosterone products which can be hard on the liver.

Fatigue can also steal your energy and your interest in sex. Fatigue can be caused by poor nutrition or a hormone imbalance. Excess caffeine, to many carbohydrates and refined sugars or a lack of protein can cause low energy levels and decreased sex drive. Many women reach the menopause years having worked 60 hours a week and raised a family. This can lead to adrenal exhaustion. Your adrenals make adrenalin and cortisol. As your adrenals become more stressed they steal your sex hormones, progesterone, estrogen and testosterone to make more cortisol. The end result is a decrease in the hormones that fuel your sexual response. Adrenal exhaustion also can result in extreme fatigue and irritability. There are many other causes of low libido. Hysterectomies, prescription drugs, lower testosterone levels as we age can cause hormone imbalance as well.

Our sexual identity may also be tied to how attractive we feel. Weight gain in menopause can make us feel undesirable and therefore less interest in sex. Balancing our hormones can help with all of these issues and help restore our sex drive. You can do something about each of these issues. There is no reason to give up on having a healthy and happy sex life.


WOMAN 66   

Signs of Hormone Imbalance

· Low libido · Vaginal dryness and thinning · Adrenal exhaustion · Irritability · Insomnia · Mood swings · Memory impairment · Anxiety · Dry skin

Bio-identical hormone replacement can help solve many of these problems. These hormones are made by a compounding pharmacy and are regulated by individual state boards of pharmacy and the FDA, much like regular prescription drugs. However, they are made from wild yams and are identical to the hormones produced by your ovaries. Bio-identical hormones have been available and used in the United States for over 20 years. There are many local Doctors, Nurse Midwives, Nurse practitioners and Naturopaths who will prescribe Bio-identical hormones.

Women need to feel like it is okay to talk with their practitioner about their sex drive and know there are solutions available to help.

wellness} Mindful living

mindful living f

inally!!! It is time for summer fun!!! This season, consider an experiment in mindful recreating and discover a whole new experience. Go with a friend and remain in mindful silence as you move through your experience. You can do this while hiking, boating, fishing, biking, swimming … anything! This experiment requires at least one friend to get the most benefit. Typically when we are with someone else, we are in conversation at least some of the time. Being with one another in silence allows us to notice where our impulses to speak come from. When we sit with our impulses in mindful awareness, without acting on them, we learn about ourselves. Turning our attention to our thoughts, body sensations and feelings instead of distracting ourselves with speaking, causes us to become more intimate with ourselves.

My favorite example is hiking. It is pure joy to focus on the present moment in your immediate experience, using all of your senses on a hike (or any other summer activity). Do this with intention and awareness, and you just may notice how much of your surroundings you tend to overlook. For example, use your vision to REALLY see the sky in all of its detail, along with trees, plants of all sizes and various shapes. Look at forms, rocks, water, your friend, the trail, and the features of the terrain around you. Use your sense of smell to truly take in the scent of the trees, plants, earth, wind and water. Listen deeply to the sounds around you; the fall of your foot steps and of your friend’s. Also listen to the birds, the wind in the trees, the lap of waves, and your breathing. Sense your foot in your boot and how it feels as it moves across varying terrain, the movement of your body as you walk, the wind against your skin, sweat on your body, the temperature on your skin, your backpack on your body, your water bottle against your lips and the water moving into your mouth and down your throat. Relish the taste of your snack, your water or that fresh huckleberry just plucked from the vine. Now you are experiencing your what it feels to be alive! As you notice your thoughts, with equal awareness, you may find what either tends to distract you from your immediate experiences or what serves you well in being present to the moment at hand. Perhaps you will find yourself with a sudden insight or expanded perspective regard406

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By Lee Anne Byrne, LCSW

ing yourself, life, a struggle you are facing or an opportunity you have. If you are a person with a very busy mind and discover that your thoughts have carried you to some place other than your immediate experience, use mindfulness of your sensory experiences to bring you back.

If you would like, try a variation, and at a half way point in your outing, pause to journal, draw and/or temporarily converse with your companion about your experience so far. Should you choose to do this, maintain mindfulness; focus on your immediate experience. Perhaps this mindful break will inform an intention for the second half of your experience. A similar process at the end of your activity may also deepen your awareness and integration of what you have gained.

As you notice your thoughts, with equal awareness, you may find what either tends to distract you from your immediate experiences or what serves you well in being present to the moment at hand.

I took a ‘mindful’ hike with a friend last season. Initially my mind wanted to be in charge and engaged in a series of judgmental thoughts about myself and various details of my life. I then became pre-occupied with why I was pre-occupied when I was “supposed to be” on a mindful hike. Eventually I started to focus on my sensory experiences and my mind quieted and relaxed. Then I began to experience the emotions of joy, contentment and serenity instead of agitation, angst and plain old grumpiness. We did take a break for conversation at the half way point. At that point I found the ‘mindful’ process useful to review where my impulses to talk with her came from, and what I learned about myself. I settled further into my body during that discussion and was prepared to move into even deeper levels of awareness on the second half. This was a truly enlightening experience for both my friend and I, and it is a hike I still remember well, as I was truly present for most of it. Be invited to adapt these ideas to any of your summer recreation activities. Nature is a superb practice ground for mindfulness, especially when you aware of what surrounds you. You will know yourself and life more vividly. Enjoy!

wellness} dear dru

dear coach dru,

By Dru Rafkin Jackman, ACC

Summer is here and I am ready for a break. I can’t wait to spend warm afternoons relaxing at City Beach, to climb the mountains searching for hucks, to read a few good books on my porch, and to peruse the farmer’s markets. My problem is that my thoughts won’t let me relax. I am constantly thinking about money. I have a good job, live frugally, and have everything I need. I’m actually pretty happy, or I could be, but I can’t seem to stop the cycle of thoughts that barks “It’s not enough!” How do I make them go away so I can be happy? Signed, Am I crazy? Whitefish

Dear Crazy,

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you are not crazy. You are, however, human, and sometimes that is enough to make a person feel crazy.

Worst Cheerleader Ever

Being human means there are a few truths you must contend with: You can’t hold your breath for more than a few seconds without passing out, you can’t live underwater, excess calories go directly to your hips, and…you have Monkey Mind.

Monkey Mind is a term that refers to that aspect of the mind that chatters at us incessantly as it swings from doubt to worry and back again*. It lives in a part of your brain called the amygdala that is triggered each time you take an idea (“I’m going to relax and enjoy this summer”) and make it real. Everyone has it. Everyone hears it. You can’t make it go away. Most of us listen to it and behave accordingly. That is enough to make any person feel crazy.

When we listen to Monkey Mind tell us we are not up to the task, and we behave as such, we feel sad and frustrated. We wonder what we are doing wrong and why we can’t stop doing it. More frustration ensues.

A Profound Shift

Some people have learned not to listen to their Monkey Mind; they hear it, but they don’t act 406

WOMAN 70   

on what it is saying because they know Monkey Mind is not telling the truth. They know they are up to bigger things. These are the people we admire—those folks who do what they say they are going to do on a consistent basis despite the Monkey Mind chatter instructing them otherwise. You’ve met these people. You’ve spent time around them. They’re excellent to be around. You are steps away from being one of them.

Monkey Mind will always be there blathering that what you have is not enough. You cannot stop it. So, what can you do?

aAcknowledge that you are human, and because of that, you have Monkey Mind: “Hey, look at that, I have a chattering voice in my head that keeps telling me that what I have isn’t enough. Huh.” aThank your Monkey Mind for sharing this novel information. Really. “Thanks for sharing.” NOTE: Do not argue with your Monkey Mind. It does not listen and you cannot make it stop. Try it. It’s a lot like arguing with a 9-year old about anything; you just cannot win. You will not change its mind or convince it that you do have enough and that everything is okay. So stop trying—unless you want to be crazy, sad, and frustrated. Got it?

aShift your attention back to what is important to you. Ask yourself, “If I wasn’t listening to what this tainted cheerleader is telling me, what would I think or do instead?” aTake an action based on what you know is important to you. Pick up your beach towel and go outside. Call a friend and make a plan to go for a hike. Take yourself downtown and pick up a new book.

aObserve whether there is any unfinished business to attend to. Have you balanced your checkbook? Is your insurance up to date? If you avoid important tasks because Monkey Mind tells you they are too hard or will take too long to complete, ask yourself this: “Does listening to my Monkey Mind support me in being happy and enjoying my summer?” Will it ruin your summer to tackle these tasks one small step at a time? Probably not. But ignoring them based on your Monkey Mind just might. aRepeat the process: acknowledge, thank, shift, take an action, observe.

Don’t hold your breath, don’t live under water, and don’t act on your Monkey Mind. Do remember what is important to you and do take small actions to reinforce that. Have a great summer. Enjoy!

*Maria Nemeth, PhD, Mastering Life’s Energies.

Grea tG for B ift Idea r Bride ides or smai ds!

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• • •

Includes shipping & delivery in the Flathead Valley Valid for order placed before July 31, 2011 Choose from 15 mini shells!

Miche Rep: Jessica Mitchell 406-261-9195 Call or Text!


1895 home of Kalispell’s founding family, Charles and Alicia Conrad, filled with original furnishings, books toys, clothing and effects. Open May 15-Oct 15 Tuesday-Sunday Guided tours on the hour, 10am-5pm, last tour departs at 4pm Adults $8, Seniors $7, Children under 12 $3




2011 Special Events

Summer High Teas-First Saturday of each month FREE Ice Cream Social-4th of July (after parade) Mansion Ghost Tour-Oct 7 Christmas at the Mansion Preview Party-Oct 28 Christmas at the Mansion Holiday Bazaar-Oct 29 & 30


406-755-2166 • Unique Gift Shop & Gardens Open to All!

Located on Woodland Ave. between 3rd & 4th Streets East in Kalispell

family} Parent Coach

preparing kids By Denise Dryden

As parents we often

want our children to have all the luxuries of school, friends, and activities and feel that they do enough to just keep up with it all. What if we have it backwards? What if we are doing our children a disservice by allowing them to live in a bubble of make believe until they get out of school or college? Then they have no real idea of how to work, how to pay bills, or how to envision themselves taking on adulthood with any hope of making a real living. Giving all of this to them now, teaching them how to do all of this now, is the role of the parent. Not just providing a house, meals, a car and a fun summer vacation, but providing skills that teach them how to do it all on their own with confidence.

I suggest you do something different this summer; sit down with your family and talk about how all of you can share the day to day work around the house, so you all have time to get out and play more. Break down simple jobs that can be addressed around the house, and look at how they can be shared by even the youngest child. The key here is to see your role as a mentor and teacher of tools, not the assigner. Tell stories about learning how to do a chore like the wash and how many things you have learned how to do it over the years.

Do the chores with your child at first. Talk to them, pay attention to them. Be available for your child to ask questions, to open up. With preschoolers and young elementary school age children, make it fun. Set up a time each day to get a bag and collect the trash in all the rooms and take it out. Show them how to recycle and tell them why. Put toys back into their bins and talk about how they like living in the bins, just like in the Toy Story movies. Collect the dirty clothes from the bins and bring them down to the laundry room and search for stained clothing together.

With pre-teens and teens, do the same thing. Do the chore with them as often as you can. Pay attention to them and be yourself. Tell them what you like or don’t like about doing the chore, and how you get through it. Show them why you do it a certain way and ask for suggestions on any ideas they may have. Remember, this is a teaching opportunity, and they will eventually need to know how to do ALL of this on their own. Give them the opportunity to see the value. 406

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With teens there needs to be a set time each day when they have expectations of doing work around the house. Perhaps these hours should be scheduled before noon and before they make plans to go out with friends. Then they are free for the afternoon and evening. I would avoid weekends only, as these chores get tabled when weekend trips happen. They should have set hours during the week. Older kids can take on more sophisticated chores. They can manage all the wash and put it in each room. They can do the floors in the house. They can wash the cars and fill up the tanks and even go get the oil changed. They can even take on the outdoor mowing, trimming and sprinkler timers - all of it! Give it to them and let them own specific chores each summer, and then they can trade with a sibling next summer.

With teens and young adults, it is essential to let them experience the connection between what they use and how it is paid for. You can either lecture them about the costs or you can start moving these responsibilities over to them a bit at a time… cell phones, car insurance, gas, their own spending money. In order to pay for these, they will need to get a job. And, it will need to be a job that can pay for the entire phone bill, all year, not just for a few months. As parents we need to give our children opportunities to see how expensive some choices are and how we as parents decide if it is worth it or not. For example, a cell phone with full internet access and unlimited calls and texts can cost a lot more than a cell phone without internet access. Let them choose to pay for it. This summer is the perfect time to start doing things differently. Start sharing the work around the house and sharing in the fun!


here comes summer! By Kristen Pulsifer

Here comes summer! Some families look forward to it with great sighs of relief, while others look to it with dread, and wonder, ‘What am I going to do this summer to keep my child’s brain from turning to goo?” Many parents are convinced that over the summer, their child’s brain actually springs a leak! They are sure that there is a small hole that simply expands over the summer months, due to heat or something of the sort, allowing the brain to simply melt and leak out! Well, according to Dr. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology at the University of MissouriColumbia, these parents are not too far off. While he says nothing about there being actual holes in our childrens’ heads, his studies have concluded that when students return to school, after a nice relaxing summer break, they have lost one to three months of learning. This loss is much more significant in regards to math skills. “All students lose math skills”, says Cooper. This may be because our environments more easily provide practice with reading than they do with math. Whatever the reason, it is important to keep the brains of our loved ones active! Dr. Cooper does say that “parents can help their kids retain educational skills.” The following, list provides a few things that he recommends we do to fight the goo!


Keep plenty of books around, and make consistent trips to the library and book stores.

PLAN AHEAD Think about what your kids may learn next school year when you plan family vacations.

For example, if they are going to be taking a geology course, plan a trip to a national park and focus on geological aspects of where you are visiting.


Keep math in mind, and look for programs or tutors than can give the brain a mathematical tune up!

I have also put together a list of ideas that I have recently recommended to parents that have called my study center seeking advice on what they can do, academically, to keep their kids’ minds tuned over the summer:


You can never read enough. Even if it is simply magazines that your kids enjoy, buy them and keep them around the house.


Keep kids physically active. Physical activity undoubtedly helps with mental activity. Plus, sports are a great way to practice strategy, and scoring keeps the numbers moving through the brain! While it may be a simple form of math, it is math!


Games follow suit with sports. Strategy, score keeping, critical thinking, and family/friend time are all elements of game playing that help us fine tune the mind.


Keep ‘em healthy! Take advantage of summer fruits and vegetables, and keep tabs on the fast foods, and ‘out with friends and grab something’ foods.

All these ideas are fairly simple, but so easy to lose sight of when everyone is running in different directions with different summer schedules. Most important, have fun, relax, keep tabs on your kids. Plan family time by simply scheduling consistent meal times, and curfews. Don’t lose track of what everyone is doing. The summer does fly by, and before you know it, we will be putting on our warm coats, hats and gloves…. Oh, wait, I don’t think I have even put mine away! Anyway, the summer flies by, so enjoy and keep track of what’s to come! I have provided a fun book list for most grade levels. Take a look and share with your kids. See if you can get them to pick out at least one book to read over the summer. Provide an incentive to get them reading. Make it fun and let them enjoy!



- Extreme Readers - Step Into Reading - Ivy and Bean series - Pony Pals series


-Judy Blume books -Diary of a Wimpy Kid -Percy Jackson series -Ranger’s Apprentice series Flanagan

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SEVENTH and EIGHTH -Hunger Game series Collins -Mortal Instruments series Clare -Alex Rider series Horowitz


-The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy Adams -The Princess Diaries Cabot

-Harry Potter Rowling -The Princess Bride Goldman -All the Pretty Horses McCarthy -The Bean Trees Kingsolver -Plainsong Haruff -Montana 1948 Watson

Most all of these books can be found at Book Works, in downtown Whitefish

*Refer to, “The Summer Brain Drain!”, for more information on Dr. Cooper and his studies on the summer “brain drain”.

family} step family

living in Step By Marti Ebbert Kurth


“We had no blood bond. I didn’t rock him to sleep as a babe and he never ran to me with a skinned knee.”

Fighting with my stepson (eventually) evolved into communication

Learning to live together in a stepfamily should deserve some sort of medal…for everyone involved! Starting with the brave couple who assume that their new found love will smooth over all the bumps of family communication, and especially for the step-kids who are asked to at least respect–if not love–this stranger who has invaded their life! Twenty years ago when I was first getting to know my new husband and his 16-year-old son, David, I quickly learned that communicating with him was like walking an unknown path in the dark. I remember being so upset sometimes…I felt I was dealing with the immature thinking of a six-year-old in the body of teenager. It’s the same for all parents–whether they are stepparents or single parents–this trying time of trying to relate to a teenaged quasi-adult. But arguing with my stepson had a difficult twist because we didn’t know each other. Both of us had no clue about what the other was thinking! We had no blood bond. I didn’t rock him to sleep as a babe and he never ran to me with a skinned knee. I had never even seen him cry. His initial obligation to me was out of loyalty to his dad whom he loved and trusted. 406

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Learning how to acknowledge my anger with David was my first big step in getting to know him. Early on I avoided confronting him about things that bugged me. I was still in the blissful state of new love with his father and I wanted to be nice. I wanted him to like me! But it wasn’t too long after moving into a house together, with my 11-year-old daughter visiting every other weekend, that the sand began to irritate in our collective oyster. Of course we were all laboring under the stress of being four together rather than the “two against the world” of single parent and child. Our first argument involved something so trivial that I’ve forgotten it. But I haven’t forgotten how angry I got at him. Using that innate sense that children have, he located my invisible buttons and as he pushed them our discussion became more heated. He refused to listen to me! He had no respect!

I, on the other hand, was relating to him as I would to my daughter, expecting him to understand that “he could not talk to me in that way.” I was arguing from my own family culture–a code that he knew nothing about. Several door-slammings later the household settled into an uneasy peace. I was shaking, not just from anger, but also from the realization that this KID could upset my emotional balance. I knew he had seen my ugliest, most unfriendly

side. For a moment I had become, at least in my mind, the dreaded Stepmother of fairy tale fame!

Later, a friend of mine, also a stepmother, told me that her experience of arguing with her new stepson was a milestone in their relationship. “Somehow he knew how much impact he could have on me. But he also saw that I trusted him enough to show him my worst side. It transformed our relationship,” she remembers.

According to Lisa Lieberman, a stepmother and a clinical therapist in Portland, Oregon, other issues may have may have played a role in our argument. “Adolescence is said to be one of the hardest times to ‘take on’ a stepparent. Typically it is a time when teens are pushing away from home, while needing to know that they can come back into the fold anytime. Having a new step-parent complicates this process,” she notes. Over time David and I calmed down and were actually laughing together. We’ve had many arguments since then, but that first flare of egos taught us something about each other. It taught us how to forgive and forget, and a little bit about personal boundaries. It also taught me that I must make an extra effort to tell him that I care for him and respect him. Otherwise, how will he ever know?

garden} gardening

happy gardening By Linda Andersen, CHS Seed & Chemical Specialist

Bleak economic conditions throughout the country have no doubt also hit close to home in the Flathead Valley. Many families are looking for every possible way to stretch their family budget. Combined with an interest in keeping our families healthy with nutritious foods and still having enough money to pay the bills, many of us are growing our own vegetables this year. While gardening has always had a great following in the valley, the past few years have brought a renewed interest. This includes many who only have pots on an apartment patio. Even those who claim to have no green thumb are opting to shop at our local farmer’s markets and CSA’s throughout the Flathead. While always important, shopping locally in this poor economy is one way to be part of the solution. With such an uncertain economic picture, it’s reassuring to feel some level of self sufficiency, whether by keeping a flock of chickens, gardening, or even just having a pot of tomatoes growing.


After having spent many years in the lawn and garden business, I have seen a huge cross section of the public try their hand at growing their own food. It’s nice to see whole families take part in seed selection, making fertilizer choices, and anticipating the final results of all their hard work. These kids know where their food comes from. Gardening can be many different things to many different people. The saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” really applies to gardening, as I have learned over the years. We are fortunate in the Flathead Valley to have many ways to educate ourselves. One of my favorites is the Master Gardener Program through MSU Extension, taught by our very talented and knowledgeable Extension Agent, Pat McGlynn. There are also many classes available through FVCC and several gardening clubs throughout the valley. One of the most useful resources in our area is our farmers and gardeners who have lived here many years, some many generations. They have tried and tested seed varieties and methods that seem to work

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in an area that has a short growing season. While some of us are simply in the business of saving a buck and eating healthy, others have nothing more in mind than gardening for therapy. While I dislike seeing weeds pop up between my carrots and peas, I think that there is something relaxing about tuning out the world as I pull dandelions.

While there are many experts willing to freely give advice, we are also presented with many gardening products available on the market. Whether you choose to garden conventionally or organically, there is never a shortage of seeds, fertilizers, and soil amendments to suit your needs. I have my favorites, but so does my neighbor, and his produce the same results as mine. A soil test does wonders and takes a lot of the guess work out of the equation. I have many fond memories of gardening with my mother and grandmother. Coming from a large family it was a time when I could discuss important things in my life and felt like I was contributing to my family. This continued with my daughter helping me garden, and I have great pictures and memories of her picking and eating strawberries and a little bit of dirt. I see this happening with many families working their gardens together. It gets us all off the couch, working together, and learning together. Maybe hard economic times do make us better people. Happy gardening!

If you have any questions or need help with seed, weeds, flower/vegetable gardening, fertilizers, and even pesticides and/or organic solutions, I can be reached at the CHS Country Store, “Next to Walgreens on Idaho” 755-7400. CHS Country Store, 150 1st Ave WN in Kalispell – 755-7427. Like us on or visit us at www.retail.chskalispell. com. We carry bulk seed, fertilizer and we can help you with all you need to grow your lawn & garden.

art} DBC

Murder, mayhem and mystery 10 years of Death by Chocolate at the Conrad Mansion Museum By Kristen Hamilton - Photo by Sara Pinnell


he Conrad Mansion prides itself on a bygone era treating guests throughout the summer to tours of the beautiful 26-room mansion with original furnishings and simple elegance. Each spring though, the mansion is in disarray with a murder mystery event that is among the best in the Pacific Northwest.

With 10 years under its belt, the Death by Chocolate event has become a tradition in Kalispell attracting chocolate lovers and would-be detectives. The setting couldn’t be more perfect…an 1895 mansion complete with a resident ghost or two! Guests are welcomed in the Grand Hall then directed to Dining area where they are treated to a delicious selection of hors d’oeuvres, delectable desserts, and a choice of beverages.


Many businesses come together with sponsorships and donations to help make this event one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the mansion. This year, Lisa Mahoney with Sunnyview Catering at Northwest Medical provided the majority of the hors d’oeuvres, which included shrimp bites in phyllo cups, Moroccan meatballs, and blue cheese bacon stuffed new potatoes. Fun Beverage and Tamarack Brewing Company provided the liquid libations. The Death By Chocolate committee

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gathered a great variety of gift basket items that were part of the raffle auction. I was especially thrilled when; my ticket was pulled for the custom ladies hat donated by Hats by Katy. The mansion is grateful to the businesses that support them for this event and throughout the year.

This year’s production, “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Ghostly Chocolatier” was co-written by Leah Lindsay and Lane Smith. The crowd gathers outside the mansion and the doors open at 7:00pm sharp. Cast members mingle amongst the guests during the reception until the unthinkable happens – someone is murdered! Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Watson, are immediately “on the case”. Guests are directed to various rooms in the mansion to experience mini skits that will help them solve the mystery.

How did it start? Leadership Flathead’s class of 2001 toured the Conrad Mansion Museum during their arts & culture month. Members of that class were so impressed with the mansion and surprised to find out that although the City of Kalispell owns the building, no tax dollars support its operation or preservation. They wanted to raise money for the mansion. Leadership Flathead’s members conceived the original Death By Chocolate idea then approached Teri Florman, former Executive Director of the mansion, and the Board of Directors to make it a reality.

It was a resounding success and the rest is (a 10-year) history!

Leah Lindsay, local radio personality, got involved during the 2nd year and has been going strong ever since only missing the 5th show. Initially Leah acted in the performances and in 2006, she was approach by Kate Daniels, the Executive Director of the mansion at the time, about writing the script to expand the storyline and make it more of a production. Her first script was “Titanic”. Every year since, Leah has used events and local lore to make the story interesting. The recent attention to ghosts in the mansion played a role in “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Ghostly Chocolatier” with ghosts wandering from room to room during the scenes. Leah decided to use that idea due to the “Ghost Tours” at the mansion as well as mentioning one of the craziest things over the years was the actors commenting that they had seen ghosts at the mansion during rehearsals. It seemed very fitting for this year’s performance. She said Lane Smith, from Vann’s, was a huge help this year and really couldn’t have done it without him.

Leah starts planning the script and scoping out potential actors in September, eight months prior to the April performance. She’s especially grateful for the actors who donate many hours of their time in rehearsals and coordinating their costumes for the production. When it all comes together it is “creative magic”, she says. The actors never know who the killer is and are surprised with the audience adding to the fun of the evening.

Two years ago, the committee approached Mike Kofford, the current Executive Director of the mansion, to expand the production to two evenings. Mike embraced the idea and it continues to grow in popularity. He appreciates all the hard work that the planning committee and actors put into the performance. This year the actors approached Mike on the night of the performance about playing a trick on Leah and switching the “killer” to her. It turned out to be one of her fondest memories over the years by being the one put in cuffs by Sheriff Chuck Curry at the end of the night.

“The actors give so much of their time in the weeks leading up to the show”, said Leah. It is truly a labor of love for acting and to help the mansion. In addition to Leah, this year’s production included the following actors and extras: Tracy Osler, Kim Sova, Leigh Schickendantz, Charene Herrera, Kate Logsdon, Rob Dewbre, Lane Smith, Duane Sidney, Travis Minaglia, Chance Barrett, Larry Sartain, Bill Rice, Connie Sartain, Gracelyn Abel, Laurie Smith, and Karie Stidham.

I asked if Leah was able to enjoy the great food and chocolate at the event. She replied that she always makes a point to try the chocolate fountain! Will Leah continue to stay involved? “I love it and definitely plan to stay involved!” she said.

The Conrad Mansion Museum is the most complete pre-1900 Victorian home built in the Montana territory. It sits proudly on the edge of the original townsite, atop a bluff overlooking the valley and the Swan mountain range. When Charles E. Conrad, a founder of Kalispell, arrived in the Flathead Valley in 1891, this lovely town with its tree-lined streets was still but a dream. But Conrad had vision, and he felt that not only had he found a good investment opportunity, but also a permanent home for his descendants. Along with establishing the Kalispell Townsite Company and eventually the Conrad National Bank, he had this gracious Victorian home built for his beloved family in 1895 in what was then a wilderness. Charles Conrad's youngest daughter, Alicia Conrad Campbell, actually lived in the home until 1964. Then, in 1974, she made the decision to give the Conrad Mansion to the city of Kalispell in memory of her pioneering parents. Funds raised from daily-guided tours and special events help to operate the mansion, support improvements, create exhibits, and preserve the home with its valued collections. Death by Chocolate 11 is scheduled for April 2012.

The Conrad Mansion offers guided tours on the hour Tuesdays-Sundays from until October 15. Special holiday Monday open dates include Memorial Day, 4th of July & Labor Day. Admission is $8 adults, $7 seniors, and $3 children. Upcoming Special Events include:

First Saturday’s of Every Month High Tea & Tour, 1-3pm Enjoy an early afternoon High Tour with Tour of the beautiful Conrad Mansion Museum. $25, reservations required by the Wednesday before the event date. July 4th Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social This FREE event starts immediately following the Kalispell 4th of July Parade on the grounds of the mansion. Bring the family and enjoy a summer ice cream treat! Mansion tours are available at regular admission rates. July 29th Living History Day Tour the mansion with members of the Conrad family in costume. October 7th Ghost Tour

October 28th-Annual Christmas at the Mansion Preview Party, 7-9pm Enjoy live music, champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and early buying privileges. $40, tickets go on sale Sept 12 and are limited so get them early.

October 29th & 30 – Annual Christmas at the Mansion Craft and Gift Bazaar, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm The finest handmade crafts are available while viewing the beautifully decorated Victorian-era Conrad Mansion Museum. Warm, hearty food is served on the veranda. $5, reservations not needed. Membership – Become a member of the mansion and help support historic education through interactive interpretive tours, maintenance, and preservation efforts of this Kalispell landmark.

Conrad Mansion Museum 300 Block of Woodland Ave, PO Box 1041, Kalispell, MT 59901 406-755-2166,


Flathead Valley music offerings nearly ‘mountainous’ this summer By Marti Ebbert Kurth

John Zoltek conducting the Summer Classical Pops concert 2010

art} music

One of more amazing aspects of living in the Flathead is the frequency of visits by world renowned musicians who come to perform in our little valley. This summer the musical offerings promise to be bigger than ever starting on July 9th in Kalispell with the musical party-on-thelawn at Rebecca Farm called “Summer Classical Pops,” followed by a week of some of the finest classical musicians performing in Whitefish at Festival Amadeus, July 31 to August 6, and ending with a spectacular finale in Bigfork for the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop, August 28-Sept. 4. In between these events there will be bands playing at numerous venues every weekend including the various weekly Farmers Markets, plus a host of musical theater shows–by both professional and community acting companies. Add in some fundraising concerts, and the Flathead Valley will be filled with music up to its mountain tops. For a complete listing of music and arts listings for the Flathead go to the website Here’s the scoop on some of the biggest music events in Flathead Valley this summer:

SUMMER CLASSICAL POPS- at Rebecca Farm, presented by the Glacier Symphony, Saturday July 9; gates open at 5:30, concert begins at 7:30 p.m.. Special guest for this concert will be world-class pianist, Roger Wright, performing two popular classics: Gershwin’s tuneful “Rhapsody in Blue” and Liszt’s “Hungarian Fantasy,” which is certain to set your toes a tappin’. Glacier Symphony Music Director, John Zoltek, will conduct the orchestra in additional works from composers Rossini, Copland, Greig, Tchaikovsky and others.

This concert is fast becoming known as the “best night of summer.” It will be held rain or shine with large tents to shelter the crowd and picnic tables available to rent for $25. Vendors will offer food, beer and wine. Entry fee is per car so load up your friends and family and enjoy a spectacular Montana summer evening. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 day of show. Visit the GSC website for more information: www.

FESTIVAL AMADEUS- July 31 to August 6, Whitefish. The Festival kicks off with a FREE Open Air Orchestra Concert on the lawn of Depot Park, in Whitefish on Sunday, July 31st. Gates open at 6 p.m. with music starting at 7:30 p.m. Bring lawn chairs and picnics for this event that launches a week of finest classical music by Mozart, Beethoven and others in chamber and orchestra concerts. Repertoire for the free performance will include selections from Mozart's “Jupiter” Symphony plus contemporary classical music for saxophone performed by the up-and-coming musician, Ashu. Food vendors and Festival Amadeus signature wines and beer will be available for purchase inside a beer garden. During the week the Festival will be headquartered in the intimate O'Shaughnessy Center, One Central Ave. in Whitefish. Day two features an “Evening with the Artists,” with Maestro Zoltek conducting onstage interviews with the guest musicians followed by a sampling of their playing.


Three nights of chamber concerts are followed by two orchestra concerts featuring the guest artist that include critically acclaimed Italian pianist, Roberto Plano, California-based violinist Nigel Armstrong, New York City trumpet sensation, Adam Rapa, and classical saxophonist, Ashu. Trumpet protégé, Natalie Dungey, a young student of Rapa’s from Seattle, will also perform along with the Bridger and Glacier

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String Quartets. Opportunities to watch the musicians at open rehearsals during the week are also available-view the schedule online at Passes for Festival Amadeus 2011 are available online or by calling GSC at 257-3241.

Anchoring the summer music scene will be the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop held August 28-Sept 4th at Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork. Billed as “A week with the masters of Guitar” this event launched last year with a dynamic lineup of music stars including jazz greats Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour.

Lee Ritenour returns this year for a whole week of instruction along with Blues master, Joe Bonamassa and Classical pro, Scott Tennant. Other faculty include the pros from the National Guitar Workshop rounding out a repertoire that caters to all genre of guitar styles. If you love to listen to guitar, but don’t want to play it, take advantage of several public concerts that will be held during the week. On Wednesday, August 31, a new guitar star will be born when the workshop hosts the final round of the “2011 Yamaha 6 String Theory Guitar Competition.” The event will be held at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts and is open to the public. The contest is the inspiration of the Grammy award-winning Ritenour who debuted the international competition in 2010 with the release of his all-star guitar CD, 6 String Theory. The CD features 20 world-class guitarists including George Benson, BB King, Slash, Vince Gill, Robert Cray, and the winner of the 2010 competition Shon Boublil. Montana has been the first choice for the final round of the competition since last summer when Ritenour participated in the first annual COC Guitar Workshop and Festival as an artist in residence. “We are very excited to bring the Yamaha 6 String Theory Competition finalists to Montana,” Ritenour said. “With such a high level of guitarists of all ages entering during the first year, it’s very exciting to continue it this year with 36 semi-finalists, six finalists, and competitions in all parts of the country.”

And don’t miss the big finale concert held on Saturday night on the lawn overlooking Flathead Lake. It is open to the public and offers music lovers the best of why we live in Montana, incredible nature complemented by fantastically talented musicians.

Visit the website for details on how to participate in the workshop and buy tickets for the public concerts. Call 406-837-2574 for more information.

Book Review Sponsored by

862-9659 - 242 Central Avenue, Whitefish Below Copperleaf Chocolat Co.

The Fifth Witness By: Michael Connelly BOOK REVIEWS BY JOAN G. SMITH The Lincoln Lawyer was one of my favorite Michael Connelly novels, and now it is a movie – and a very successful one. Mickey Haller is the main character and a criminal lawyer. The Fifth Witness is Connelly’s latest novel, just out in April 2011!

Mickey Haller, and he finds himself back in business with a high profile criminal case. Lisa is not Mickey’s favorite person, but the stakes are high, so he forges ahead.

This time around, Mickey has fallen on tough times and finds himself doing foreclosure defense in order to pay his bills. His office is once again his Lincoln car, and team meetings are held in his secretary’s living room.

The courtroom drama is well done, and Mickey and his team have their hands full as their investigations reveal a quagmire of low life characters and top level bankers and executives. The dark side is revealed when Haller is mugged by a couple of thugs that end up putting him in the hospital.

Lisa Trammel is one of his foreclosure clients, so when she is arrested on suspicion of murder, she calls on

An interesting second story occurs with the appearance of Maggi McFierce and his daughter – an on

again, off again arrangement that has as many switchbacks as the murder trial. Fans of Michael Connelly might be interested to know that he asked his publisher to advance the release of this novel because of the popularity of The Lincoln Lawyer in theaters. For more Michael Connelly, expect to find his novel The Drop, available in October of 2011. Harry Bosch will once again take center stage, and since Connelly and Bosch are the same age, the author wanted Harry to appear again before he’s too old! I have this information from a good source.

The Postmistress By: Sarah Blake I found The Postmistress to be a treasure and one you do not want to put down. When you stop reading you find yourself still thinking about the story; the small town of Franklin, MA., its postmistress, Iris, who knows a lot about the residents but doesn’t gossip. It is 1940, and the United States is not yet at war with Germany. Edward R. Murrow sends Frankie Bard to England and Europe to report back, live, from the nightly bombings in London, and the systematic round up of Jews in Europe – no concentration camps yet, but there is segregation and disenfranchisement. 406

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Many people in the U.S. do not yet believe this war can touch them. But, some of the characters in this book are ahead of the game, and try to report the news and the facts, each in their own way. Emma Trask falls in love with the town’s doctor in Franklin, and when he goes to London to try to help during the horrible bombings, another tragic insider’s view is presented. This is a small book, packed with heartbreak, love and evil. It is also a testament to the Brits, who kept on fighting alone, when there seemed to be no hope.

This author knows how to find the right words, and, I quote from Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, - “A beautifully written, thought provoking novel, that I’m telling everyone I know to read.”

art} books Children's BOOK REVIEW By Kristen Pulsifer

Charlie the Ranch Dog Written by: Ree Drummond Illustrated by: Diane deGroat

If you are looking for a fun, spring time children’s book, Charlie the Ranch Dog is it. This sweet story, told from the perspective of a droopy, loveable Bassett Hound named Charlie, depicts a day in the life of a house pet ranch dog. Charlie ‘oversees’ all that goes on, but definitely prioritizes naps and bacon. His energetic side kick, Suzie, is the true ranch dog that Charlie simply ‘lets’ do all of the work. As Charlie kindly states, “I like to give her (Suzie) a chance to shine every now and then. It’s the kind of dog I am.” Charlie does manage to chase a cow named Daisy out of the garden, which completely wears him out, and he must sleep for the better part of the day. His droopy ears, large paws and “floppy skin” make his barn yard tasks extra challenging! Charlie is one endearing pooch and at the end of the day, he is always there to greet the family and pick up the slack. This sweet and humorous story, is a must for bookshelves in every home, and the illustrations successfully bring the story’s barnyard critters to life. Ree Drummond is the New York Times Bestselling Author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Drummond is a city slicker gone country and has written several books documenting her comical lifestyle transition. Illustrator Diane deGroat has illustrated more than 120 children’s books and has made her mark on the New York Times Best Seller list with the book Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink. Charlie the Ranch Dog is not the only book worth a look from this wonderful author and illustrator. You can find Charlie the Ranch Dog at most book stores including Book Works in downtown Whitefish.

Primo T. Catt’s Amazing Adventures with the Tide Written by: Parker Kelly Illustrations by: Nancy Kelly

“Courage is the beginning of victory” is the quote that begins this fabulously funny children’s tale. Kelly’s endearing children’s book is one that I could not pass up writing about… even though it has not yet been published! The story beautifully illustrates a courageous, orange cat’s grand adventures across the sea. This funny little feline’s fine sense of adventure takes him on a journey where crazy characters such as the likeable tuba playing monkey and a “happy, quacky yellow” duck help Primo the cat battle cranky crocodiles, stormy weather, hungry sharks and more. The story’s rhythmic prose makes this book a delight to read and easy for youngsters to follow the funny characters’ wacky adventures. The uncomplicated rhythmic pattern also makes this book a pleasurable read for youngsters who are in the beginning stages of reading. Primo T. Catt’s Amazing Adventures with the Tide would make for a great summer read for ages six and up. The younger children will benefit from a challenging read they can work on with family and friends, while the older ones will enjoy brushing up on their own reading and rhyming skills. I was also told by the writer, that this particular story was a hit with his friend’s autistic grandchild. It was a story the child seemed to be content following from beginning to end. I recommend this enjoyable story to anyone who appreciates a good adventure. I also believe that this exciting tale will instill a sense of adventure and curiosity in such topics as the sea, tides, moon and funny creatures, in children of all ages. Parker Kelly, a Whitefish local, and his daughter Nancy, have done a wonderful job creating some loveable characters and a loveable story. Look for copies of Primo T. Catt’s Amazing Adventures with the Tide at local Whitefish stores where children’s products are sold and 406 Woman magazines are distributed.


finance} Investment

Roth IRA:

A Lifetime Investment Some investments are appropriate during your working years, while others are more suitable for retirement. But a Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) can provide you with benefits at virtually every stage of your life. Let’s take a quick “journey” through some of these stages to see just how valuable a Roth IRA can be. To begin with, you can open a Roth IRA at any age, provided you have earned income and meet certain income limits. So if you’re just starting out in your career, put as much as you can afford into your Roth IRA and gradually increase your contributions as your income rises, up to the contribution limit. A Roth IRA is an excellent retirement savings vehicle because it can grow tax free and your contributions can be invested into just about any investment you choose — stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs and so on.

Of course, when you’re young, you might not be thinking much about retirement. But the earlier you start contributing to a Roth IRA, the more you could end up with — and the difference could be substantial. In fact,if you started putting money into a Roth IRA at age 30, and you contributed the maximum amount each year until you reached 65, you 406

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would accumulate more than $766,000, assuming you are in the 25% tax bracket and you earned a 7% return, compounded annually. But, given the same assumptions, you’d end up with only about $365,000 if you waited until 40 before you started contributing. It clearly pays to contribute early and annually to a Roth IRA. (In 2011, the annual contribution limit is $5,000,or $6,000 if you’re 50 or older.) There are additional benefits to funding a Roth IRA, such as its flexible withdrawal options, which are available to you even before you retire. Since you already paid taxes on the money you put into your Roth, you can withdraw your contributions at any time without paying taxes or penalties. Generally speaking, it’s certainly best to leave your Roth IRA intact for as long as possible. But if there’s an emergency and you need access to the funds, you can also withdraw your Roth’s earnings tax free, provided you’ve held your account at least five years and you don’t start taking withdrawals until you’ve reached 59½.

Now, let’s fast forward to your retirement. Unlike other retirement accounts, such as a traditional IRA or a 401(k), your Roth

IRA does not require you to start taking withdrawals at age 70½ — or ever. If you don’t need the money, you can leave it alone, possibly to grow further, for as long as you like. This means that you might have more money to bequeath to your children or other beneficiaries, and they won’t have to pay income taxes on withdrawals from either your contributions or your earnings, provided your Roth IRA account has been open for at least five years. Keep in mind, though, that your beneficiaries will be required to take distributions based on their life expectancy. As you can see, a Roth IRA can be an excellent financial “traveling companion” as you go through life. So consider adding a Roth to your portfolio — and bon voyage.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor

Contact Karin Holder, your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor at (406) 862-5454 Or stop by at 807 Spokane Ave, Suite 500, Whitefish, MT.

406 women}


Mary Jo Naïve M e r ry G e m s by Julia Williamson - Photo by Rachel Lynn Photography


ary Jo Naïve, owner of Merry Gems on Electric Avenue in Bigfork, MT, has been in business for nearly 15 years. Mary Jo has resided in Bigfork for 26 years, where, with little experience in restaurants, started out owning a restaurant. She then moved her professional training in clothing design and making custom bridal gowns to making children’s attire. “I moved away from white wedding dresses to colorful cotton fabric,” she said. Merry Gems is a unique store in Bigfork, and the only one that focuses exclusively on children.

When the business first opened, Mary Jo was designing and making all of the products; however, over the years, she has sold more locally made products from various contributors. Laughing, she said, “Running the store is very time consuming.” Mary Jo started the business shortly after her son was born. 406

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Over time she has moved the store slightly away from a focus on children’s clothing to children’s gifts. “It is really a unique gift shop for kids,” she said. The store has an array of toys, infant gifts, slippers, jewelry and more. She refers to the store as a distinctive gift shop with fun gifts, birthday presents and more. Through the years, children of all ages have bought some of their favorite toys from Merry Gems. Mary Jo knows that the economy has been tough for everyone, especially independent local businesses, so she keeps her prices in check. “People may think the store is not affordable, but it is, and it is a place anyone could shop for really cool things,” she said. Being the only exclusively kids store in Bigfork, has helped her over the years, along with, “the supportive local clientele,” she said. The seasons also play a role in the business activity of Electric Avenue. In the winter, the town as

a whole slows down, but by the time summer rolls around, there is, “no time”.

Mary Jo has served on the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, Board of Directors, for years. In 2008, the theater board expanded the lobby, and their efforts to develop year round performing arts. This was a process in which Mary Jo has supported and helped see through. She has dedicated some of her time to the arts and productions that occur year round in Bigfork. Merry Gems store front windows are full of clothing attire and toys for all ages, all year round. According to Mary Jo, Bigfork Village is like a small family, full of continuous support to and from the local businesses. Merry Gems Bigfork Village 837.1476

Bridget Michlig

Muse – Style to Inspire I n s p i r i n g E v e ry G e n e r at i o n by Julia Williamson - Photo by Rachel Lynn Photography


here is a lovely boutique located in downtown Bigfork, MT, that is not solely about convincing customers to just buy their products. This sweet place is about showing you what fits your body type and personality. Muse - Style to Inspire, owned by Bridget Michlig, focuses on what is best for you as the customer.

Muse – Style to Inspire clothing is from all over the world. Bridget dedicates herself to her shop and finding clothing items that are organic. Bridget focuses on carrying clothing made from materials that are raised and/or grown without the use of chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. Bridget acrries merchandise made from low impact materials, which are items that cause little to no damage to the environment. Bridget believes the clothing she carries is high-quality, and people should feel good about wearing whatever they buy from her store. After living in the Flathead Valley for seven years, Bridget felt that the valley was in need of a store that stood between the black/white and the plain. She found herself ordering her clothes online as she was looking for a style between what is often found in the valley, and in the big cities. Now, three years later, she is the owner of Muse, with her husband and two other family members.

Bridget says that, “As a woman I think appearance is a communication tool.” Bridget feels that the clothes a person chooses to wear, expresses a great deal of information about who that person is. Bridget sees that a person’s clothing choice is their first run at communication. According to Bridget, the clothes a person chooses to wear, is “informing everyone around how they are willing to be treated”. Muse is a store that does not inspire any particular age or style, but is about serving a variety of different styles. Bridget has had several age groups come in together, and

sometimes they even like the same things. The store caters to women, of all different ages, and styles. “It’s about finding the value in the clothes,” she said. Bridget believes that you can find the right clothes for every person if you have the right tools.

Having grown up in San Francisco, California, Bridget has seen a variety of attire and styles, and she knows it is about choosing the right fit for each person. Bridget provides wardrobe consultations to help customers understand what style works for them individually. Bridget shows everyone how they can dress themselves to fit their personality

and body. She is not simply about convincing a customer to buy just whatever is on her store’s racks, but she is willing to take the time to show each person that walks through her door, the choices that surround them and what expresses them as a person. Muse – Style to Inspire, inspires year round. Bridget laughs, “Bigfork doesn’t close in the winter”, so go in and visit any time. Muse- Style to Inspire 459 Electric Avenue, Suite B in Bigfork Across from Artisans in Twin Birch Square Open daily from 10-6 (and often later!) 837.2400


406 man} Parker Kelly

Parker Kelly “A M a n


All Seasons”

Writen by Kristen Pulsifer - Photo by Rachel Lynn Photography

Parker Kelly is truly a man of all seasons. I have had the pleasure of knowing Parker for less

than a year, and have quickly came to enjoy the telling of old war stories of his courtrooms days

back in California. Though Parker, his wife Nell, and their dog Archie are now full time residents of Whitefish, MT, and have been for quite some time, he has an extensive past that took place

almost one thousand miles west of here, and well…. also several thousand miles east of here! Parker grew up “punching cows” in northern New Jersey, where his father was a sales engineer for Marine Engineering. Parker graduated from the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, and then served in the Air Force flying B-25s and D-C3s. When asked about his time in the Air Force, Parker simply replied that is was an honor to serve, of course, and “I joined the Air Force and learned to fly well enough to do loops, barrel rolls and spins in a DC-3”. I got the feeling that Parker learned a lot more than how to roll and spin. When asked if he still flies, he said, quite emphatically, “No. If you are going to fly, you should fly all of the time.” He felt that it was a skill to be practiced often in order to do safely, and he is simply not committed to practicing.

After the Air Force, he attended New York University for one year, and then finished his law degree at Hastings College of Law, part of the University of California. After all of the challenging education rigmarole was over, he served as a successful lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He described his career quite well: “I spent time trying to keep criminals back on the streets until I discovered that in the law business, wearing the white hat is way better, and easier, than wearing the black one.”

His stories are vast! He tells, and very well I might add, of the criminals he befriended. His stories of his courtroom days should be published, because they are sincerely interesting and definitely entertaining. He has a special knack for portraying the personalities of several judges he shared the courtroom with. He spoke humorously of one who would simply turn his back to the courtroom when he had heard enough, signaling the obvious to the lawyers and their clients. I would not do the story justice – you will have to entice him into reporting the details.

Parker not only made his mark in California, but he has also worked to establish himself in Montana as that same white cowboy hat wearing, seventy something year old young man. Not only has he volunteered his time over the past three years coaching both boys and girls’ soccer for Whitefish Parks and Recreation, and serving on various local boards, but he also serves as a mem-


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ber on the Board of Directors for the Montana Innocence Project (MIP). This project is “dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system”. The MIP has exonerated 271 wrongfully convicted individuals since the year 2000, and the average length of time served by exonerees is thirteen years… and that’s just the average. “Seventeen people had been sentenced to death before DNA proved their innocence and led to their release.” These same facts and more can be viewed in MIP’s website – it is truly worth a look.

Parker also commits himself to the writing of some very creative and well done children’s stories. He is currently working on having his stories, Primo T. Catt’s Amazing Adventures with the Tide, and Call Me Lance: Tales of creatures Good and Bad, published. He figures that in courtrooms “he was privileged to hear many wonderfully imaginative stories told by people in defense of their misdoings, so the experience qualifies him to write fairy tales”. And, very good fairy tales I might add. His stories of Primo T. Catts, an adventurous orange cat, and Lance, a frog, “who was not the sharpest frog in his pond” are well done and enjoyable for all ages. The colorful illustrations, done by his daughter Nancy, are absolutely enchanting and bring life to the tales Parker spins about his creative characters. Parker and his wife Nell still visit his son and daughter back in California, and they are the proud grandparents to two happy and healthy grandchildren. He looks forward to time with his grandchildren, and his daughter’s wedding, but in the mean time will be content to put his white cowboy hat on and continue his duties here in Montana. The golf course calls his name, and quite loudly I hear. I have had friends lucky enough to be placed in a round or two with him, and they say he can hit the white off the ball… or blue, or green. When asked if Parker is happy here in the valley, doing the good things that he does, he replies, “Montana was our first choice, of course, and that’s where we are proud to be to this very day. Perhaps best of all, I have become a great golfer; no man could ask for more.”


community} Swap Meet

Written By: Micheal Medlin

The Rumor is TRUE!!!!! The old Midway Drive-in is... THE Midway Swap Meet and Farmers Market! It seems every year the beautiful Flathead valley offers something new for long distant travelers and locals alike. This year is no exception, with the coming of THE MIDWAY SWAP MEET and FARMERS MARKET being held at the old Midway Drive-in Theater in Columbia Falls. This landmark location, located just miles from Glacier national Park and midway from all our surrounding towns, has for years been a hub of good times and family enjoyment. For more than 40 years the Midway Theater has brought season after season of movie extravaganza until it's final showing just four years ago. "It was a true shame seeing the Drive-in go away" said Barbra Barber "Everyone is so excited to see this land finally go to good use." And good use it is, with rows and rows of fine fresh produce, antiques, collectibles and just about everything a treasure hunter could hope to find. 406

WOMAN 92   

"This event is community based" says Marco Forcone, Director of the Midway Swap. "It's about bringing the community together for good trade and commerce, everything from crafts to car parts and don't forget the food & music!" Each weekend the Midway Theater will be co-hosting a number of community events during the swap meet such as The Spirit Mountain Bluegrass festival, Cherry Pickin' Cherry Fest, Chili cook-offs, Classic car & Hot rod show and much more. Visitors may enjoy a cold brew (provided by The Great Northern Brewery) or just get in line for some good ol' Piggy Back BBQ. Kids can run and play among tipi's, enjoying pony rides, castle bounce and face painters. You can catch the Midway Swap Meet every weekend all summer long from 11-5 at the Midway Theater 3115 HWY 40 west, where HWY 2 and the 40 meet across from the Blue Moon. Just look for the giant Big Top Tent~See you there!

Contact/Vendor info: 406-863-9741

406 woman} happenings







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League of Glacier Symphony and Chorale Springtime in the Garden Luncheon Text By Marti Kurth Photos by Rachel Lynn Photography.. Spring finally bloomed in Flathead Valley this year–albeit indoors–when League of the Glacier Symphony and Chorale threw its first annual “Springtime in the Garden” Luncheon on April 27. The crowd resembled an English Royal wedding as the ladies donned their finest millinery and the smell of flowers overwhelmed the banquet room at the appropriately named venue, Hilton Garden Inn in Kalispell. Floral arrangements decorating the tables, donated by 18 valley florists, were raffled off with the proceeds going to the League’s Youth Music Scholarship fund. League Chair, Sharon Kennett said the luncheon was as much a way to celebrate spring, and maybe encourage it to hurry up a bit, as it was a fun social gathering. “We wanted to introduce people to the GSC and provide an opportunity to dress up a bit, put on some spring finery and celebrate winter’s departure,” she laughed. Guests pulled best-loved hats from their dusty boxes, adding some silk flowers and ribbons and put on bright colored clothing. There were classic hats reminiscent of Easter bonnets, 60’s era vintage hats and just plain fun hats.

Entertainment for the guests was provided by “The Great Pretenders” a quartet of male singers from the Glacier Chorale. Accompanying them on piano was Dan Kohnstamm. Alan Satterlee, GSC Executive Director, presented a short talk about the GSC programs and Gwen Paltrow introduced the past League chairwomen who were in attendance.

The League hopes to make the luncheon an annual event with even more floral shops participating. It certainly brightened up a long, dark winter and gave everyone hope for spring.




1. bright flowers made the cold April day brighter 2. MMM love that purple 3. BJ Carlson, past GSC Board chair enjoys a moment 4. TGP brings on spring with a song 5. Several gentlemen enjoyed the conversation around the table 6.: Dan Khonstam keeps the crowd entertained 7. Classic Easter bonnets 8.Table arrangements were generously donated by 18 Flathead Valley florists and plant shops 9.: The Great Pretenders rrrggh 10. Toot Sward dons her favorite 60s era hat 11. Silk and saavy hats were the norm 12. More wonderful hats and conversation 13. GSC Executive Director Alan Satterlee warms up the audience 14. Delightful table decorations help build the GSC League Scholarship Fund 15. Bright clothes, bright hats16 GSC board member Mary Gibson, shares a glass of wine with a guest




406 woman} happenings


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Livingston Taylor Soiree in Bigfork By Marti Ebbert Kurth Photos by Rachel Lynn Photography..

The legendary singer, songwriter and consummate entertainer, Livingston Taylor, wowed guests at a fundraiser supporting the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation on Sunday, April 29. The soiree was held at the newly remodeled Red Willow Lodge in Bigfork. Owner, Sophia “Vonnie” Vaughn, had graciously offered her new bed and breakfast for the event. It was the perfect location to showcase the artistry of Taylor, who traveled from Boston, MA where he is a professor Emeritus at Berklee College of Music. He performed in the grand, two story glass conservatory overlooking Bigfork Harbor and Flathead Lake, where the crowd enjoyed his lyrics as much as the view. Host and chair of the foundation, David Feffer, greeted the guests as they entered the foyer of the lavishly decorated, French-themed lodge. Fine wines and elegantly prepared hors’doeuvres were served by staff from the Culinary Design Studio, of Bigfork. The guests had a chance to chat informally with Livingston, who had

presented a public concert the previous night at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts also in support of the COC Guitar Foundation. The crowd made its way upstairs to the music conservatory just in time to catch a perfect sunset sparkling off the water. Livingston then spent the next two hours playing guitar and piano and sharing some of his most beloved songs and anecdotes, at one point inspiring the crowd with an arm waving, uplifting lilt. David Feffer spent a few moments telling the audience about the COC Guitar Workshop that will be held at Flathead Lake Lodge August 28 to September 4, 2011. He thanked Livingston for coming to Bigfork and lending his support for this unparalleled educational event that will bring some of the best guitarists in the world to Montana and help put Bigfork on the map as a national center for the study of guitar. For more information about the workshop and the foundation go to www.cocguitarfoundation .org or call 800-234-6479.


406 Woman June July 2011  

406 woman is located in the flathead valley

406 Woman June July 2011  

406 woman is located in the flathead valley